Skip to main content

Full text of "The Life of Queen Elizabeth"

See other formats

This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project 
to make the world's books discoverable online. 

It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject 
to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books 
are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover. 

Marks, notations and other marginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the 
publisher to a library and finally to you. 

Usage guidelines 

Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the 
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing this resource, we have taken steps to 
prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying. 

We also ask that you: 

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for 
personal, non-commercial purposes. 

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine 
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the 
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help. 

+ Maintain attribution The Google "watermark" you see on each file is essential for informing people about this project and helping them find 
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it. 

+ Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just 
because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other 
countries. Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of 
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner 
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe. 

About Google Book Search 

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers 
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web 

at |http : //books . google . com/ 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 


Digitized by VjOOg iC 




Digitized by VjOOg iC 












London: J. M. DENT & SONS, Ltd. 
New York: E. P. BUTTON & CO. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

S^^ LI FE 95 








First Edition of this issue, April igo6 
Reprinted September igody January igro 


Digitized by VjOOg iC 


The " Lives of the Queens of England from the Norman 
Conquest," of which the present life of Queen Elizabeth formed a 
part, first appeared in twelve volumes, 1840-48. Agnes Strickland 
had for fellow-historian in these Lives her elder sister Elizabeth, 
who preferred not to acknowledge a share in the work. They 
were the daughters of a Suffolk squire, Thomas Strickland of 
Reydon Hall ; and Agnes was bom in 1796, and her sister in 1794. 
The former had written without any great success in prose and 
verse, and both sisters had published various books for children, 
before they turned to their serious historical task. They continued 
it, when their series of the English queens was ended, by another 
series on the Lives of the Scottish queens and of the English 
princesses who figure in the Crown's succession. To the second 
work, the most substantial contribution was the history of Mary 
Queen of Scots. In this, which makes a characteristic sequence 
with the following history of Elizabeth, we have history made familiar 
and feminine, and tempered by a woman's sympathies ; and this 
helps to give Miss Strickland's writing a personal interest, apart from 
its value as a plain, objective record. Agnes Strickland died in 1874, 
her sister (who is said by one good critic. Miss Elizabeth Lee, to 
have had the more masculine style of the two) in 1875. 

The following is the table of her (or their) published works : — 

Worcester Field, or The Cavalier, 1827 (?) ; The Seven Ages of Women, 
and other Poems, 1827 ; Historical Tales of Illustrious Children, 1833; 
Demetrius, a Tale of Modem Greece, and other Poems, 1833 ; The Broken 
Heart ; and The Bridal, 1835 (?) ; The Pilgrims of Walsingham, or Tales 
from the Middle Ages, 1835 ; Floral Sketches, Fables, and other Poems, 
1836, 1861 ; Tales and Stories from History, 1836 ; Lives of the Queens of 
England (A. and £. Strickland), 1840-48 ; Queen Victoria from Birth to 
Bridal, 2 vols., 1840; Two Tales ("Picnic Papers"), 1841 ; Alda, the 
British Captive, 1841 ; Letters of Mary Queen of Scots, 1842-43, 1844, 
1864; Historic Scenes and Poetic Fancies, 1850; Lives of the Queens of 
Scotland and English Princesses connected with the Regal Succession of 

Vii Digitized by Google 

viii Editor's Note 

Great Britain (A. and E. Strickland), 1850-59 ; The Seaside Offering, etc., 
1856; Old Friends and New Acquaintances, i860; 2nd Series, 1861; 
Lives of the Bachelor Kings of England (A. and E. Strickland), 1861 ; 
How will it End ? (novel), 1865 ; Lives of the Seven Bishops committed 
to the Tower in 1688, 1866; Lives of the Tudor Princesses (A. and 
E. Strickland), 1868 ; Lives of the Last Four Princesses of the Royal 
House of Stuart, 1872 ; The Royal Brothers, 1876 ; Guthred, the Slave's 
Widow, and The Druids* Retreat, 1876. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 




Birth of Elizabeth at Greenwich Palace— Chamber of the Virgins— Remark of her 
mother, Queen Anne Boleyn— Christening— Placed first in the succession— Marriage 
negotiation with France — Execution of her mother— Elizabeth declared illegitimate — 
Her governess — ^Want of apparel — Altered fortunes — Appears at her brother's christen- 
ing—Her early promise— Education— Her first letter— Patronised by Anne of Cleves 
and Katharine Howard — Residence with her sister Mary — Offered in marriage to the 
heir of Arran— Her letter to Queen Katharine Parr— Proficiency in languages— Her 
early compositions — Her brother's love for her — Sllares hb studies— Her father's 
death— Her grief— Wooed by Seymour, the lord admiral— Refuses his hand- 
Offended at his marriage with the queen-dowager— Princess Mary invites her to live 
with her— She resides with Queen Katharine Parr— Her p;ovemess, Mrs. Ashley, and 
Roger Ascham — Freedoms of the admiral — The queen's jealousy — Elizabeth removes 
to Cheston — Her letters to the queen and admiral — Death and bei^uest of Queen 
Katharine Pan^Thc admiral's clandestine courtship of Elizabeth— Injurious reports 
concerning it— Elizabeth's conferences with Parry— Her governess Ashley sent to the 
Tower— Examination of Elizabeth— Restramt at Hatfield— Defends her governess- 
Letter to the Protector— Her confessions— Her governess superseded by Lady 
Tyrwhit— Disdainful conduct of Elizabeth— She writes again to the Protector- 
Serious scandals on Elizabeth — She intercedes for her governess — Execution of the 
admiral — Elizabeth's regard for hb memory — The ladies of her household . /. x 


Elizabeth's scholastic pursuits— Ascham— Elizabeth's letter to Edward VL— Her first 
communication with Cecil— She goes to court— Her simplicity of attire — Her con- 
formity to the Reformation — Prevented from seeing King Edward— Her letter to him 
— Her household at Hatfield — Privy purse expenses — Her letter to the council — 
Death of Edward VL — Elizabeth escapes Northumberland's snares — Required to 
acknowledge Lady Jane Gray's title — Prudent answer— Meets her sister — Enters 
London with Mary — ^Admiration of the people — Popularity with the Protestants — 
Queen's jealousy — Elizabeth refuses the mass — Queen Mary's displeasure-^Elizabeth 
dissembles and conforms — Given precedency next the queen at the coronation — Dines 
with the queen and Anne of Cleves — Intrigues of the French ambassador — Plots in 
favour of Elizabeth and Courtenay — Increasing coolness of the queen — Elizabeth for- 
bidden to quit the palace— Or to receive visits — Matrimonial proposals — Offered an 
asylum in France— Courtenay betrays the plot — Wyatt's rebellions — Elizabeth impli- 
cated therein— Queen Mary sends for her— Her excuses — Mandate for her appearance 
— Her journey from Hatfield to court — Entrance into London — Queen refuses to sec 
her— Her death desired by the council — Intercepted letters to Elizabeth — Gardiner's 
accusations against her — Her household discharged— Her distress— Her letter to 
Queen Mary — She is carried by water to the Tower — Her disconsolate condition. 

A 44 


Elizabeth in the Tower — Examined by Gardiner and the council — Confronted with^ir J. 
Crofts — Her expostulation — Rigorous examination of her servants — Compelled to 
hear mass — Harsh treatment of her Protestant ladies — Her deportment in prison — 
Precautions against her escape — The Spjanish ambassador urges her execution — 

IWyat exonerates her on the scaffold— She is permitted to take the air— Sympathy of 
children for Elizabeth— Flowers brought her in the Tower garden— Warden's child 
iv . . 


examined by the council — Her cause favoured by her uncle (Lord W. Howard) and 
Arundel — Illness of the queen — Attempt of Gardiner to destroy Elizabeth — Mary 
replaces her sister's picture — Refuses to have her tried — Elizabeth taken from the 
Tower to Richmond by water — Refuses to marry Philibert of Savoy — Harsh treat- 
ment on her journey to Woodstock— Sympathy of the people — ^Lord William's 
hospitality to Elizabeth — Her captivity at Woodstock— Her prison verses — Her 
needle- work — Dangerous illness — Recovery—Tourney to^ Hampton Court — Interview 
with Gardiner, &c. — Her spirited conduct — Her interview with the queen — Recon- 
ciliation — Joins the rojral parties at Christmas — Takes her place next the queen — 
Homage paid to her by^ Philip II. — She again rejects Philibert of Savoy — Returns 
to Woodstock— Accusations of sorcery with Dr. Dee — Philip II.'s friendship for 
Elirabeth— She is permitted to return to Hatfield — Sir T. Pope her castellan — His 
courtesy to Elizabeth — Fetes aijdjpageants — Implication in new plots — Her letter to 
the queen — She visits* "tEe court—Meditates withdrawing to France — Fresh re- 
conciliation with the queen— Offer by the Prince of Sweden — Her prudent conduct — 
Appointed successor to the crown — Mary's last requests to her — Contradictory state- 
ments — Interview with the Spanish ambassador — Sups with him at Lady Clinton's — 
Their conversation — Queen Mary sends her the crown jewels — Premature reports of 
Mary's death — Elizabeth sends Throckmorton — Death of the queen announced to her 
— Her exclamation on being saluted queen p. Bo 


Recognition of Elizabeth in parliament— Proclaimed queen in Westminster Hall, &c. — 
Her first council— Cecil placed at the helm — Elizabeth's state entry into London — 
Sojourn at the Tower — Attends her sister's funeral — Temporizes with chmch reform 
— Hears mass for a month — Rejects it on Christmas Day — Her coronation — Pageant s 
andprocessi.Qns — She re-establishes the Reformed Church— Declares that she win CTie 
"a^?u^ln-^efuses Philip II. — Her perilous position in Europe — Instals her favourite, 
Robert Dudley, as Knight of the Garter— Suitors for her hand— FJtes t o the French 
ambassador— Tournament, &c. — Wooed by the Earls of Arran and AHindel — They 
are rivalled by Lord Robert Dudley — Scandals regarding Elizabeth — Offers of the 
Archduke Charles and Eric of Sweden — Portraits of Elizabeth — Reports of her 
marriage with Robert Dudley — Her popular charities — Elizabeth's coinaee and coins 
— Her antipathy to J. Knox — Her visit to the Mint — Progress through the citj^ — 
Censures the marriages of the Clergy— Severity to Lady K. Gray— Differences with 
the Queen of Scots — Refuses her safe conduct — Entertains the grand prior of France. 

A 123 


Elizabeth's persecutions of Nonconformists — Her visit to St.^ Paul's — Displeasure with the 
dean — New year's gift — Predictions of her death — Parliament petitions her to marry 
or declare her successor- Her irritability— She prevents the Queen of Scots' marriage 
— Her letter to Warwick — Her Cambridfge progress— Offers Robert Dudley's hand to 
the Queen of Scots — Creates him Earl of Leicester — Levity of her behaviour^Mar- 
riage offer of Charles IX. — Discourses of Leicester and^ French ambassadors — Eliabeth 
imprisons Lady Mary Gray-^Takes offence with Leicester — Her favour to Cecilia of 
Sweden — The queen gives Leicester hopes — Her irresolution — Her manner of receiv- 
ing the sacrament — Cruelty to Heath — ^Her deceitful treatment of the Scotch rebels- 
Renewal of matrimonial negotiations with the Archduke Charles — Hopes and fears 
of Leicester — Elizabeth's vexation at the birth of Mary Stuart's son — ^Visit to the 
University of Oxford — Tries to cut short Dr. Westphaling's oration — His pertinacity 
■^— Her whimsical reproof— Dispute with parliament— Her encoun^ement of alchemists 
and conjurors — Adventures with Dr. Dee — Her patronage of him — Her wardrobe- 
Remonstrates with Mary Stuart — Her letter to Catherine de Medicis — Description of 
the Archduke Charles— Arrival of Mary Queen of Scots in England— Crooked policy 
of Elizabeth — Conferences at York — Norfolk's suspected correspondence with Mary — 
Elizabeth's reply to Lady Lenox . ^. 187 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 


Contents xi 


Elizabeth's deportment to foreign ambassadors — Her first interview with La Mothe 
Fenelon — Her coquettish remarks on Philip of Spain — She puts the Spanish ambas- 
sador under arrest — Compares Alva's letter to a Valentine — Speaks angrily of the 
Queen of Scots— Writes to that princess— Wains the Duke of Norfolk— Negotiations 
for Elizabeth's marriage with the King of France — Flattery of the ambassador — Inde- 
corum of Leicester at Elizabeth's toilet — Remonstrances of the nobles on the same — 
Arrest of Norfolk — Northern rebellion — Elizabeth's poem — Her sanguinary orders — 
Elizabeth excommunicated by Pius V. — Conspiracies against her — Attempts to renew 
matrimonial treaty with the archduke — Anger at his marriage— Henri of Anjou pro- 
posed to her— Her wish of accepting him— Demurs of her council — Her anger— Con- 
fidential remarks to her ladies — Her visit to Sir Thomas Gresham — Names the Royal 
Elxchange — Her conversation with the French ambassador on marriage — Her new 
favourite, Sir Christopher Hatton — Her angry letter to the Bishop of Ely — Intrigues 
i^rainst her marriage — ^Reluctance of her suitor — His uncourteous observations — 
Elizabeth's remarks on the portrait of the Queen of France — Forbids George Strick- 
land to appear in his place in parliament — Contumaciousness of the Duke of Anjou — 
Vexation of hb mother^Archduke Rodolph ofifers to Elizabeth— Flatteries of the 
French ambassador — Elizabeth sends her portrait to Anjou — Her remarks on his 
portrait — Fills her work-basket with apricots for the French ambassador^Her mes- 
sage to him — Sends him a stag slain by herself— Manner of Elizabeth's visit to 
Hunsdon House .... . • • /• 347 


Elizabeth discovers Norfolk's implication in Ridolfi's plot— Scene with the French 
ambassador — Her^ anger — Her observation touching her wedding— Aqjou breaks his 
fsuth with her — His younger brother ofiered toher in his place — EuzabeUi's vexation — 
Her rejoinder to the Spanish ambassador — Her reluctance to Norfolk's execution 
— Signs his death-warrant — Revokes it — Her angry letter to the Queen of Scots — 
Dangerous illness of Elizabeth — Her marriage treaty with Alen^n — Her Maundy — 
Alenfon's portrait sent to her — Execution of Norfolk — Parliament urges her to 
execute the Q^ottn of Scots — Elizabeth's noble reply— Signs a treaty with France— 
Elizaheth's fetes, &c., and Sunday .amusements— Dissimulation — Flattered hv La 
^Sfothe Fenetdn — ^AleD^m's letter — Elizabeth objects to his youth, ugliness, &c. — 
Deliberates on curing his defects— Elizabeth's praise of Cathcrme de Medicb— Entry 
into Warwick— Receives the French ambassadors there — ^Their flattery, and marriage 
discussions— Warwick fired by the fireworks at a festival in Elizabeth's honour — Her 
reception ot the French ambassador after the massacre of St. Bartholomew — Her 
project for betraying the Queen of Scots — Her parsimonjr— She continues secretly 
her marriage treaty with Alen^on — She has the small-pox — Her recovery^- Facetious 
observations — Accepts the office of sponsor to Charles IX. 's infant — Scene in the 
privy council — Love letter from Alen9on to Elizabeth — Asks permission to vbit her 
^-She demurs — Court gossip — Favours the Earl of Oxford — Interferes in hb quarrel 
with Sir Philip Sidnejr— Her progress in Kent, &c. — Her vbit to Canterbury — 
Feasted by the Archbishop of Canterbury — Treats with the French envoy — Dinner 
at St. Austin's Hall — Her visit to Sandwich — Entertained by mayor's wife, &c. — 
Surveys the dockyards at Chatham , . . A 31a 


Elizabeth's talents as a peace-sovereign— Renews the treaty with AIen9on— Plans an 
interview with him — Her progresses— Her new year's gifts — Receives three night-caps 
from the Queen of Scots— Elizabeth's anger at Henry III.'s marriage — Note to her 
eodson — Anecdotes of her private life — ^Her costume — Presents from her courtiers — 
Losses in her wardrobe — Her persecutions — Her visit to Keuilworth — Offered the 
soverei^ty of the Netherlands — Progress into Suffolk, &c. — Her letters of condolence 
— Her vbit to Norwich — Harsh usage of her host at Euston Hall — Her favour to the 
envoy of Alen^n— She excites Leicester's jealousy— Discovers Leicester's marriage — 
Her anger — Fancies she b bewitched — Her council deliberate on her tooth-acne- 


xii Contents 

Incognito ^sit of Alengon {now Anjou) — The council oppose Elizabeth's marriaee 
with him — Her irritation, anxiety, and demurs — Characteristics of Elizabeth — Her 
habit of swearing — Discrimination of character — Her patronage of Drake — Her letter 
to Sir Edward Stafford — Second visit of Anjou to England — Elizabeth's loving 
demeanour to him — Her ladies oppose the marriage — Eliza^th's fondness for Anjou— 
Accompanies him part of his journey homewards — Her love-verses — Regrets for his 
loss — Her interview with Edmund Campian — Her letter to Burleigh — Her maids of 
honour — Her illegitimate brother. Sir J. Perrot — His insolent speeches regarding her 
— She refuses to sign his death-warrant — Her cruel usage of Ireland • . /. 363 


Evil conaequences to Elizabeth from the detention of Mary Queen of Scots — Real and 
pretended plots against Elizabeth's life — Her parsimony — Walsingham's letter of 
expostulation — Altercation between Elizabeth and the Archbishop of St. Andrew's 
and other Scotch ambassadors — Hard treatment of the Earls of Northumberland and 
Arundel — Her enmity to Lady Arundel — Takes offence with Leicester— Her angry 
speeches of him, and stern letter to him — Quarrels with Burleigh — Leicester's jealousy 
of Raleigh — First notice of Essex— Charles Blount attracts Elizabeth's notice — 
Scandals respecting her regard for him — Elssex's jealousy — Morgan and Babington's 
conspiracy — ^Elizabeth's peril — Queen of Scots implicated— Her removal to Fotherin- 
gaye — Elizabeth's letter to Paulet — Proceedings against Mary— Elizabeth's irritation 
— Her levity — Angry reply to the French ambassador— Petitioned by parliament to 
put Mary to death-zHfiLSPefigh— Subsequent irresolution — She hints at secret mur- 
der — Leicester su^gestspoiSSP-Remonstrances of the King of France — Stormy 
scenes between Elizabeth and French ambassadors — Maryjs sentence published — Her 
letter to Elizabeth, and its effects — Remonstrances of Bellievre in behalf of Mary — 
Elizabeth's haughty letter to the King of France — Her scornful treatment of the 
Scotch ambassadors — Crooked policy of her ministers — Pretended plot against her 
life — Excited state of her mind — Her irresolution — Scenes between her and Davison 
— She signs Mary's death-warrant — Her jest on the subject — Her demurs — Elamest 
desire of Mary's assassination — Commands Davison to proi>ose it to Paulet — Her 
dream— Her angler at Paulet's scruples— Dark hints of employing an agent of her own 
— Manner in which she receives the news of Mary's execution — She rates her ministers 
and council — Disgrace of Davison — Queen's excuses to the French ambassador — 
Charges the blame on her ministers — Hypocritical letter to the King of Scots — ^She 
brines Lady Arabella Stuart into notice— Pope Sixtus V. commends her spu-it, but 
proclaims a crusade against her /. 434 


Renewed influence of the Earl of Leicester with Elizabeth — ^An impostor pretends to be 
their son— Hostile proceedings of Spain— Philip II. sends an insulting Latin tetrastic 
to Elizabeth— Her witty reply — The Armada — Female knight made by Queen Eliza- 
beth—The queen's prayer— Her heroic deportment- Leicester's letter to her^Her 
visit to the camp at Tilbury — Enthusiasm of her subjects — Defeat and dispersion of 
the Spanish fleet— Medals struck on the occasion— Death of Leicester— His legacy 
to the queen— She distrains his goods— Elizabeth goes in state to St. Paul's, to return 
thanks for the defeat of the Armada— Her popularity— Way of life— Her love of 
history— Characteristic traits and anecdotes of Elizabeth — Margaret Lambrun's 
attempt on her life— Her magnanimity— Religious persecutions— Her imperious 
manner to the House of Commons— Arbitrary treatment of the Earl of Arundel— 
Her love for Essex, and jealousy of Lady Mary Howard— The escapade of Essex — 
Joins the expedition to Lisbon— His return— Increasing fondness of the queen— Her 
anger at his marriage — His temporary disgrace, and expedition to France — Elizabeth's 
letter to Henry IV., describing Essex's character— Her political conduct with regard 
to France— Takes offence with Henry- Her fierce letter to hitfi— She favours the 
Cecil party— Sur Robert Cecil's flattery to the queen— Her progress— Splendid enter- 
tainment at Elvetham— Her unkind treatment of Hatton— Endeavours to atone for it in 
his last illness— His death— Angry expressions against Essex to the French ambassador 
— Recals him home— His expostulation— She insists on his return— He sends Carey 
to her— Essex returns— Their reconciliation— Elizabeth visits Oxford and Ricote— Her 
friendship for Lady Norris A 5^3 

Digitized by VjOOQ iC 

Contents xiii 


Favooritism of "Essex — Qneen violates the privileges of parliament — Her severe letter to 
Henry IV. on his change of creed — Her theological stndies-^TransIates Boethius — 
Supposed plot against her life hy Lopez— Her letter to Henry IV. in hehalf of the 
son of Don Antonio, of Portugal— Her persecution of the Puritans— Henry IV. and 
her portrait — Court gossip and intrigues— Loyal pageantry, f£tes, and costly presents 
to the queen— Her sagacious conduct to her maternal kindred— Disgrace of Robert 
Carey— His attempts to propitiate the queen— Her stormy interview with him on his 
return from Scotland— Their reconciliation— Her rage at Raleigh's marriage— Her 
reception of Dr. Rndd'a sermon — Her parsimony, and abridgment of naval and 
militarjr supplies-;- Quarrels with Essex— Her jealousy of the air Bridges— Essex's 
expedition to Spain — His loving letter to the queen-H^rowing influence of the lord 
admiral — ^She creates him Earl of Nottingham— Essex's discontent— She makes him 
E^l Marshal — Her spirited retort to the Polish ambassador — E^ssex tries to bring 
his mother to court — Queen's reluctance to receive her — Essex carries his point — 
Dispute in council between the qjueen and Essex — She boxes his ears — His petoalnt 
behaviour and menaces— He retires from court — Sickness and death of Burleiffh — 
Elizabeth's grief— Her palaces, dress, and appearance in old age— Elizabeth andT her 
bishops — Her fickleness of purpose— Facetious remark of a Windsor carter, on her 
frequent change of mind— Her manner of evading an unwelcome suit • • /. 579 


Return of Essex to court— Hollow reconciliation of the queen— She appoints Urn Lord- 
deputy of Ireland — His despairing letter and melancholy verses — He ^pta to Irelsmd 
— False reports of Elizabeth's death — Her soliloquy — Continued displeasure with 
Essex — His unauthorized return — Surprises Elizabeth in her beddiamber — Her 
apparent reconciliation with him — She alters her manner, and constitutes him a 
prisoner — ^Hcr increasing ans[er — Proceedings against Ksstx — Intercession of the 
French court — Her conversation with the French ambassador — Sussex's dangerous 
illness — "Temporary relentings of the queen — She sends her physician to visit nim — 
Renewal of h^ anger — Her irritadon touching Hayward's History of Henry IV. of 
England — Wuhes to have him racked — Bacon's sage remonstrance — ElizabeUi 
fancies herself identified with Richard II. — Her conversation with Lambarde — 
Essex's penitential letters— Sends a new year's gift to Elizabeth— His mother tries to 
see the queen— Sends* presents>-Conversations between her Muesty and Bacon — 
Essex brought before the council— Elizabeth's assumed ^ety— Passes her time in 
hunting and sports — Her inward trouble — Her visit to Sir Robert Sidnejr — Elssex's 
injurious speeches of the oueen. His rash conduct — Endeavours to excite a tumult 
— Fails — Surrenders himsdf prisoner — His trial and execution — Elizabeth's manner 
of receiving the news — Scene between her and Sir T. Brown— She goes to Dover- 
Letters and messages between her and Henry IV.— She tries to induce him to visit her 
— He sends Sully — Interview between Sully and Elizabeth — Biron's embassy— Queen 
receives him at Ba«n^^--Retum5 to London — Shews Biron the heads on the Tower— 
They discuss Essex— ElizabeUi opens her last parliament— Her popular declaration 
to the Commons — ^Her festivities — Declares herself weary of life— Her regrets for the 
death of Essex — Melancholy state of her mind — ^Dedining health — ^"lu^atment of 
Cecil's miniature— His secret correspondence urith the Kine of Scots— Instances of 
Elizabeth's superstition— Removes to Richmond Palace— Death-bed confession of 
Lady Nottingham— Elizabeth's anger-^Last scenes of her life— Report of her appar- 
ition before death — Last offices of devotion — Her death — Funeral — ^Description other 
portrait— Harrington's testimonial of her great qualities — Her monument . /. 639 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 




BIctb of Elizabeth at Greenwich Palace— Chamber of the Virgins — Remark of her 
motlieT) Queen Anne Boleyn— Christening — Placed first in the succession — Marriage 
negotiation with France — Execution of her mother — Elizabeth declared illegitimate — 
Her governess — Want of apparel— Altered fortunes — Appears at her brother's christen- 
ing—Her early promise— Education — Her first letter — Patronised by Anne of Cleves 
and Katharine Howard — Residence with her sister Mary— Offered in marriage to the 
heir of Arran — Her letter to Queen Katharine Parr — Proficiency in languages — Her 
early compositions — Her brother's love for her — Shares his studies — Her father's 
death — Her grief— Wooed by Seymour, the lord admiral— Refuses his hand — 
Offended at hts marriage with the queen-dowager — Princess Mary invites her to live 
with her — She resides with Queen Katharine Parr — Her governess, Mrs. Ashley, and 
Roger Ascham — Freedoms of the admiral — The queen's jealousy — Elizabeth removes 
to Cheston — Her letters to the queen and admiral — Death and bet^uest of Queen 
Katharine Parr — The admiral's clandestine courtship of Elizabeth — Injurious reports 
concerning it — Elizabeth's conferences with Parry—Her governess Ashley sent to the 
Tower — Examination of Elizabeth — Restraint at Hatfield — Defends her governess — 
Letter to the Protector — Her confessions — Her governess superseded by Lady 
Tyrwhit— Disdainful conduct of Elizabeth — She writes again to the Protector — 
Serious scandals on Elizabeth — She intercedes for her governess — Execution of the 
admiral — Elizabeth's regard for his memory — ^The ladies of her household. 

We now come to the most distinguished name in the annals 
of female royalty, that of the great Elizabeth, second queen 
regnant of England. The romantic circumstances of her 
birth, the vicissitudes of her childhood, and the lofty spirit 
with which she bore herself, amidst the storms and perils that 
darkened over her during her sister's reign, invested her with 
almost poetic interest, as a royal heroine, before her title to the 
regal succession was ratified by the voice of a generous people, 
and the brilliant success of her government, during a long 
reign, surrounded her maiden diadem with a blaze of glory 
which has rendered her the most popular of our monarchs, and 
blinded succeeding generations to her faults. 

It is not, perhaps, the most gracious office in the world to 
perform, with strict impartiality, the duty of a faithful biogra- 
pher to a princess so endeared to national pride as Elizabeth, 
and to examine, by the cold calm light of truth, the flaws 
which mar the bright ideal of Spenser's "Glorianna," and 

** Fair vestal throned by tlie west." C^r^nirf]f> 

' Digitized by VjOOy IC 

2 Elizabeth ' 

Like t)ie wise and popular Augustus Caesar, Elizabeth under- 
stood the. importance of acquiring the good will of that class 
whose, fidendship or enmity goes far to decide the fortunes of 
princes;- the might of her throne was supported by the pens of 
the iftaster spirits of the age. Very different might have been 
.the Records of her reign, if the reasoning powers of Bacon, the 
"eloquence of Sidney, the poetic talents of Spenser, the wit of 
.Harrington, and the genius of Shakespeare had been arrayed 
against her, instead of combining to represent her as the im- 
personification of all earthly perfection — scarcely, indeed, short 
of divinity. i 

It has been truly said, however, that no man is a hero to his 
vaiet de €hambre^ and it is impossible to enter into the personal 
history of England's Elizabeth without shewing that she occa- 
sionally forgot the dignity of the heroine among her ladies in 
waiting, and indulged in follies which the youngest of her 
maids of honour would have blushed to imitate. The web of 
her life was a glittering tissue, in which good and evil were 
strangely mingled, and as the evidences of friend and foe are 
woven together, without reference to the prejudices of either, 
or any other object than to shew her as she was, the lights and 
shades must sometimes appear in strong and even painful i 
opposition to each other, for such are the inconsistencies of I 
human nature, such the littlenesses of human greatness. ' 

Queen Elizabeth first saw the light at Greenwich Palace, the j 
favourite abode of her royal parents, Henry VI H. and Anne i 
Boleyn. Her birth is thus quaintly but prettily recorded by 
the contemporary historian, Hall :— " On the 7 th day of | 
September, being Sunday, between three and four o'clock in 
the afternoon, the queen was delivered of a faire ladye, on 
which day the Duke of Norfolk came home to the christening.'' 

The apartment in which she was bom was hung with tapestry 
representing the history of holy virgins, and was from that 
circumstance called the Chamber of the Virgins. When the 
queen, her mother, who had eagerly anticipated a son, was ^ 
told that she had given birth to a daughter, she endeavoured, 
with ready tact, to attach adventitious importance to her 
infant, by saying to the ladies in attendance :—" They may 
now, with reason, call this room the Chamber of Virgins, for a 
virgin is now born in it on the vigil of that auspicious day, on 
which the Church commemorates the nativity of the Virgin 

Heywood, though a zealous eulogist of the Protestant 

1 Leti's Life of Queen Elizabeth. ! 

Digitized by VjOOglC j 

Elizabeth 3 

principles of Elizabeth, intimates that she was under the 
especial patronage of the blessed Virgin from the hour of her 
birth, and for that cause devoted to a maiden life. "The 
Lady Elizabeth," says he, " was bom on the eve of the Virgin's 
nativity, and died on the eve of the Virgin's annunciation. 
Even that she is now in heaven with all those blessed virgins 
that had oil in their lamps." 

Notwithstanding the bitter disappointment felt by King 
Henry at the sex of the infant, a solemn Te Deum was sung in 
honour of her birth, and the preparations for her christening 
were made with no less magnificence than if his hopes had 
been gratified by the birth of a male heir to the crown. 

The solemnization of that sacred rite was appointed to take 
place on Wednesday, loth of September, the ifourth day after 
the birth of the infant princess. On that day the Lord Mayor, 
with the aldermen and council of the city of London, dined 
together at one o'clock, and then, in obedience to their 
summons, took boat in their chains and robes, and rowed to 
Greenwich, where many lords, knights, and gentlemen, were 
assembled to witness the royal ceremonial. 

All the walls between Greenwich Palace and the convent of 
the Grey Friars were hung with arras and the way strewn with 
green rushes. The church was likewise hung with arras. 
Gentlemen with aprons and towels about their necks guarded 
the font, which stood in the middle of the church, it was of 
silver and raised to the height of three steps, and over it was a 
square canopy of crimson satin fringed with gold — ^about it, a 
space railed in, covered with red say. Between the choir and 
chancel, a closet with a fire had been prepared lest the infant 
should take cold in being disrobed for the font. When all 
these things were ready, the child was brought, into the hall 
of the palace, and the procession set out to the neighbouring 
church of the Grey Friars ; of which building no vestige now 
remains at Greenwich. 

The procession began with the lowest rank, the citizens two 
and two led the way, then gentlemen, esquires, and chaplains, 
a gradation of precedence, rather decidedly marked, of the 
three first ranks, whose distinction is by no means definite in 
the present times; after them the aldermen, and the Lord 
Mayor by himself, then the privy council in robes, then the 
peers and prelates followed by the Earl of Essex, who bore the gilt 
covered basons ; then the Marquis of Exeter, with the taper of 
virgin wax ; next the Marquis of Dorset, bearing the salt, and the 
Lady Mary of Norfolk (the betrothed of the young Duke of 

4 Elizabeth 

Richmond) carrying the chrisom, which was very rich with 
pearls and gems ; lastly came the royal infant, in the arms of 
her great-grandmother, the Dowager Duchess of Norfolk, under 
a stately canopy which was supported by the uncle of the 
babe, George Boleyn Lord Rochford, the Lords William and 
Thomas Howard, the maternal kindred of the mother, and 
Lord Hussey, a newly made lord of the Boleyn blood. The 
babe was wrapped in a mantle of purple velvet, with a train 
of regal length, furred with ermine, which was duly supported 
by the Countess of Kent, assisted by the Earl of Wiltshire, the 
grandfather of the little princess, and the Earl of Derby. On 
the right of the infant, marched its great uncle, the Duke of 
Norfolk, with his marshal's staff— on the other, the Duke of 
Suffolk. The Bishop of London, who performed the ceremony, 
received the infant at the church door of the Grey Friars, 
assisted by a grand company of bishops and mitred abbots ; 
and, with all the rites of the Church of Rome, this future great 
Protestant queen received the name of her grandmother, 
Elizabeth of York. Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, was 
her godfather, and the Duchess of Norfolk and Marchioness 
of Dorset her godmothers. After Elizabeth had received her 
name. Garter King-at-arms cried aloud : — " God, of His infinite 
goodness, send a prosperous life and long, to the high and 
mighty princess of England, Elizabeth 1 " 

Then a flourish of trumpets sounded, and the royal child 
was borne to the altar, the gospel was read over her, and she 
was confirmed by Cranmer, who, with the other sponsors, 
presented the christening gifts. He gave her a standing cup 
of gold, the Duchess of Norfolk a cup of gold fretted with 
pearls, being completely unconscious of the chemical antipathy 
between the acidity of wine and the misplaced pearls. The 
Marchioness of Dorset gave three gilt bowls, pounced, with a 
cover ; and the Marchioness of Exeter three standing bowls, 
graven and gilt, with covers. Then were brought in wafers, 
comfits, and hypocras, in such abundance that the company 
had as much as could be desired. 

The homeward procession was lighted on its way to the 
palace with five hundred staff torches, which were carried by 
the yeomen of the guard and the king's servants, but the infant 
herself was surrounded by gentlemen bearing wax flambeaux. 
The procession returned in the same order that it went out, 
save that four noble gentlemen carried the sponsor's gifts 
before the child, with trumpets flourishing all the way preceding 
them, till they came to the door of the queen's chamber. Th6 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 5 

king commanded the Duke of Norfolk to thank the Lord 
Mayor and citizens heartily in his name for their attendance, 
and after they had powerfully refreshed themselves in the royal 
cellar, they betook themselves to their barges. 

The queen was desirous of nourishing her infant daughter 
from her own bosom, but Henry, with his characteristic selfish- 
ness, forbade it, lest the frequent presence of the littie princess 
in the chamber of her royal mother should be attended with 
inconvenience to himself,^ He appointed for Elizabeth's nurse 
the wife of a gentleman named Hokart, whom he afterwards 
ennobled; and he invested the Duchess-dowager of Norfolk 
with the office of state governess to the new-bom babe, giving 
her for a residence the fair mansion and all the rich furniture, 
which he had bestowed on Anne Boleyn when he created her 
Marchioness of Pembroke, with a salary of six thousand 

The Lady Margaret Bryan, whose husband, Sir Thomas 
Bryan, was a kinsman of Queen Anne Boleyn, was preferred 
to the office of governess in ordinary to Elizabeth, as she had 
formerly been to the Princess Mary : she was called " the lady 

Elizabeth passed the two first months of her life at Green- 
wich Palace, with the queen her mother, and during that 
period she was frequently taken for an airing to Eltham, for 
the benefit of her health. On the 2nd of December, she was 
the subject of the following order in council : — 

•* The king's highness hath appointed that the Lady Princess Elizabeth 
(almost three months old) shall be taken from hence towards Hatfield upon 
Wednesday next week ; that on Wednesday night she is to lie and repose 
at the house of the Earl of Rutland at Enfield, and the next day to be con- 
veyed to Hatfield, and there to remain with such household as the king's 
highness has established for the same."' 

Hertford Castle was first named, but scratched through and 
changed to Hatfield. 

A few weeks afterwards she became, in virtue of the act of 
parliament which settied the succession, in default of heirs 
male to Henry VIII., on the female issue of that monarch by 
Aime Boleyn, the heiress-presumptive to the throne, and her 
disinherited sister, the Princess Mary, was compelled to yield 
precedency to her. 

Soon after this change in the prospects of the unconscious 
babe, she was removed to the palace of the Bishop of Win- 

1 LetL 8 Ibid. » Strype, volBi^i,g,^3^00gle 

6 Elizabeth 

Chester, at Chelsea,^ on whom the charge of herself and her 
extensive nursery appointments were thrust When she was 
thirteen months old, she was weaned, and the preliminaries for 
this important business were arranged between the officers of 
her household and the cabinet ministers of her august are, 
with as much solemnity as if the fate of empires had been 
involved in the matter. The following passages are extracted 
from a letter from Sir William Powlet to Cromwell, on this 
subject : — 

" The king's grace, well considering the letter directed to you from my 
Lady Brian and other my lady princess* officers, his Grace, with the assent 
of the queen's grace, hath fully determined the weaning of my lady princess 
to be done with all diligence." 

He proceeds to state that the little princess is to have the 
whole of any one of the royal residences thought best for her, 
and that consequently he has given orders for Langley to be 
put in order for her and her suite ; which orders, he adds — 

"This messenger hath, withal, a letter from the queen's grace to my 
Lady Brian, arid that his Grace and the queen's grace doth well and be 
merry, and all theirs, thanks be to God. — From Sarum, Oct. gth."* 

Scarcely was this nursery affair of state accomplished, before 
Henry exerted his paternal care in seeking to provide the royal 
weanling with a suitable consort, by entering into a negotiation 
with Francis I. of France for a union between this infant 
princess and the Duke of Angoul^me, the third son of that 
monarch. Henry proposed that the young duke should be 
educated in England, and stipulated that he should hold the 
Duchy of Angoul^me,® independently of the French crown, in 
^he event of his coming to the crown of England through his 
marriage with Elizabeth.^ 

1 The air of this beautiful village agreed so well with the royal infant that Henij VIII. 
built a palace there, of which the husband of her governess, Lady Bryan, was given the 
post of keeper ; and so lately as the time of Qiarles 1 1., one room in the Manor-house, as 
It was afterwards called, was known by the name of Queen Elizabeth's nursery. There is 
an old mulberry tree in the gardens which claims the honour of having been planted by 
her band< The king also erected a conduit at Kensington for supplying the nursery 
palace with spring water. ^ This conduit still exists within her Majesty's forcing grounds,. 
on the west Mde of Kensington Palace ^reen ; it is ft low building, w5th wal^ of great 
thickness, the roof- covered with bricks instead of tiles; the roof w -joined with rude 
arches, and the water pours copiously into a square reservoir. Tradition decUures that it 
was used by Queen Elizabeth, when a child, as a biathing house : it is therefore regard^l 
with peculiar mterest. Faulkner's Kensington, p. 26. 

8 The letter occurs in 1534. State Papers, CromwelFs correspondence, in' the Chapter- 
house, Bunde P. 

8 Herbert ; Hall ; Rapin. 

* This condition bears decidedly upon the now important miestibo, whether th« husband 
of a queen-regnant of England be entitled to the style of king-consort. It was Henry 
Vni. s opinion that the husband of his daughter, in the event of her succeeding to the 
crown, might, by her favour, bear that title. Mary I., as we have seen, overstepped the 
constitutional boundary, by actually associating Pmlip of Spain in the executive power of 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 7 

The project of educating the young Trench prince, who was 
selected for the husband of the presumptive heiresis of England, 
according to t^e manners and customs of the realm of which 
she might hereafter become the sovereign, was a sagacious 
idea, but Henry clogged the matrimonial treaty with condi- 
tions which it was out of the power of the King of France to 
ratify, and it proved abortive. 

The tragic events which rendered Elizabeth motherless in 
her third year, and degraded her from the lofty position in 
which she had been placed by the unjust but short-lived 
paternal fondness of her capricious father, have been fully 
detailed in the memoir of her unhappy mother, Anne Boleyn. 
By the sentence which Cranmer had passed on the marriage 
of her parents and her own birth, Elizabeth was branded with 
the stigma of illegitimacy ; and that she was for a time exposed 
to the sort of neglect and contempt which is too often the lot 
of children to whom that reproach applies, is evidenced by the 
following letter from Lady Bryan to Cromwell, imploring for a 
supply of necessary raiment for the innocent babe who had 
been so cruelly involved in her mother's fall : — 


** After my most bounden duty I recommend me to your good lordship, 
beseeching you to. be good lord to me, now in the greatest need that ever 
was ; for it hath pleased God to take from me hem (them) that was my 
greatest comfort m this world to my great heaviness. Jesu have mercy on 
her soul 1 and now I am succourless, and as a redUs (without redress) 
creature, but only from the great trust which I have in the king's grace 
and your good lordship, for now in you I put all my whole trust of 
comfort in this world, beseeching you to * * * me that I may do so. My 
lord, when your lordship was last here, it pleased you to say that I should 
not mistrust the king's graoe nor your lordship. Which word was more 
comfort to me than I can write, as God knoweth. And now it boldeth 
(emboldens) me to show you my poor mind. My lord, when my Lady 
Mary's grace was bom, it pleased the king's grace to appoint me lady- 
mistress and made me a baroness, and so I have been governess to the 
children his Grace have had since. 

"Now it is so, my Lady Elizabeth is put from that degree she was 
afore, and what degree she is at (of) now, I know not but by hearsay. 
Therefore I know not how to order her, nor myself, nor none of hers 
that I have the rule of— that is her women and grooms, beseeching you 
to be good lord to my lady, and to all hers, and that she may have some 

Here Strype has interpolated a query for mourning. There 

tSieQ-Ofim; but the kv.of oature and of reason ^decides that the husband of ^. au^en. 
regnant j>f England ought not to occupy an inferior position in the state to the wife of a 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

king of England, who derives a regal title from her marriage. 
1 Cott. MS. Otho. £. c. X. fot. 930. 

8 Elizabeth 

is nothing of the kind implied in the original. If Strype had 
consulted any female on the articles enumerated, he would 
have found that few indeed of them were requisite for mourning. 
The list shews the utter destitution the young princess had 
been suffered to fall into in regard to clothes, either by the 
neglect of her mother, or because Anne Boleyn's power of 
aiding her child had been circumscribed long before her fall. 
Let any lady used to the nursery read over the list of the poor 
child's wants, represented by her faithful governess, arid con- 
sider that a twelvemonth must have elapsed since she had a 
new supply: — 

"She," continues Lady Bryan, "hath neither gown, nor kirtle (slip), 
nor petticoat, nor no manner of linen — nor forsmocks (day chemises), nor 
kercniefs, nor rails (night dresses), nor body-stichets (corsets), nor hand- 
kerchiefs, nor sleeves, nor mufflers (mobcaps), nor biggens (night>caps). 
All these her Grace must take. I have driven off as long as I can, that by 
my troth I can drive it off no longer. Beseeching you, my lord, that ye 
will see that her Grace may have that which is needful for her, as my trust 
is that ye will do. Beseeching ye, mine own good lord, that I may know 
from you, by writing, how I shall order myself, and what is the king's 
grace's pleasure and yours; and that I shall do in everything? And 
whatsomever it shall please the king's grace or your lordship to command 
me at all times, I shall fulfil it to the best of my power. 

** My lord, Mr. Shelton (a kinsman of Anne Boleyn) sailh 'he be 
master of this house.' What fashion that may be I cannot tell, for I 
have not seen it afore. My lord, ye be so honourable yourself, and every 
man reporteth that your lordship loveth honour, that I trust you will see 
the house honourably ordered, as it ever hath been aforetime. And if it 
please you that I may know what your order is, and if it be not performed, 
I shall certify your lordship of it. For I fear me it will be hardly enough 
performed. But if the head (evidently Shelton) knew what honour 
meaneth, it will be the better ordered — if not, it will be hard to bring 
to pass. 

** My lord, Mr. Shelton would have my Lady Elizabeth to dine and 
sup every day at the board of estate. Alas, my lord, it is not meet for a 
child of her age to keep such rule yet. I promise you, my lord, I dare 
not take it upon rae to keep her Grace in health an she keep that rule. 
For there she shall see divers meats, and fruits, and wine, which it would 
be hard for me to restrain her Grace from. Ye know, my lord, there is 
no place of correction there ; and she is yet too jroung to correct greatly. 
I know well an* she be there, I shall neither bnng her up to the king's 
grace's honour, nor hers, nor to her health, nor to my poor honesiy. 
Wherefore, I shew your lordship this my desire, beseeching you, my lord, 
that my lady may have a mess of meat at her own lodging, with a good 
dish or two that is meet (fit) for her Grace to cat of; and the reversion 
of the mess shall satisfy all her women, a gentleman usher, and a groom, 
which be eleven persons on her side. Sure am I it will be as great profit 
to the king's grace this way — (viz., to the economy of the arrangement)— 
as the other way. For if all this should be set ttbroad^ they must have 
three or four messes of meat, — whereas this one mess shall suffice them 
all with bread and drink, according as my Lady Mary's grace had afore, 

Digitized by VjOOg IC 

Elizabeth 9 

and to be ordered in all things as her Grace was afore. God knoweth i 

my lady (Elizabeth) hath great pain with her great teeth, and they I . 

come very slowly forth, which causeth me to su&r her Grace to have ? 

her will more than I would. I trust to God an* her teeth were well 
graft, to have her Grace after another fEishion than she is yet, so as I trust 
the king's grace shall have great comfort in her Grace. For she is as 
toward a child and as gentle of conditions, as ever I knew any in my 
life. Jesu preserve her Grace I 

"As for a day or two, at a high time (meaning a high festival), or 
whensoever it shall please the king's grace to have her set abroad (shewn 
in public), I trust so to endeavour me, that she shall so do as shall be to 
the king's honour and hers ; and then after to take her ease again. 

That is, notwithstanding the sufferings of the young Elizabeth 
with her teeth, if the king wishes to exhibit her for a short time 
in public, Lady Bryan will answer for her discreet behaviour, 
but after the drilling requisite for such ceremonial, it will be 
necessary for her to revert to the unconstrained playfulness of 
childhood. Lady Bryan concludes with this remark : — 

"I think Mr. Shehon will not be content with this. He need not 
know it is my desire, but that it is the king's pleasure and yours that it 
should be so. Good my lord, have my lady's grace^ and us that be her 
poor servants, in your remembrance ; and your lordship shall have our 
hearty prayers by the grace of Jesu, who ever preserve your lordship with 
long life, aud as much honour as your noble heart can desire. From 
Hunsdon, with the evil hand (bad writing) of her who is your daily 

" Margt. Bryan. 

'*I beseech yon, mine own good lord, be not miscontent that I am so 
bold to write thus to your lordship. But I take God to my judge I do 
it of true heart, and tor my discharge, beseeching you, accept my good 
mind. Endorsed to the right noble and my singular good lord, my Lord 
Privy Seal, be this delivered." . 

This letter affords some insight into the domestic politics of 
the nursery-palace of Hunsdon at this time. It shews that the 
infant Elizabeth proved a point of controversy between the two 
principal officials there, Margaret Lady Bryan and Mr. Shelton; 
both placed in authority by the recently immolated Queen Anne 
Boleyn, and both related to her family. Her aunt had married 
the head of the Shelton or Skelton family in Norfolk, and this 
officer at Hunsdon was probably a son oif that lady, and con- 
sequently a near kinsman of the infant Elizabeth. He insisted 
that she should dine and sup at a state table where her infant 
importunity for wine, fruit, and high-seasoned food could not 
conveniently be restrained by her sensible governess, Lady 
Bryan. Shelton probably wished to keep regal state as long as 
possible round the descendant of the Boleyns; and,-4n that 

ro Elizabeth 

time of sudden change in rdyal destinies, had perhaps an eye 
to ingratiate himself with the infant; by appearing in her com- 
pany twice every day, and, indulging her by the gratification of 
her palate with mischievous dainties. Lady Bryan was likewise 
connected with the Boleyn family — not so near as the Sheltons, 
but near enough to possess interest with Queen Anne Boleyn, 
to whom she owed her office as governess or lady mistress, to 
the infant Elizabeth. There can scarcely exist a doubt, that 
her lamentation and invocation for the soul of some person 
lately departed, by whose death she was left succourfess, refer 
to the recent death of Anne Boleyn.^ It is evident that if 
Lady Bryan had hot conformed to King Henry's version of 
the Catholic religion she would not have been in authority at 
Hunsdon, where she was abiding not only with her immediate 
charge, the "Princess Elizabeth, but with the disinherited Princess 
Mary. Further there may be observed a striking harmony 
between the expressions of this lady and those of the Princess 
Mary, who appealed to her father's pa;ternal feelings in behalf 
of her sister the infant Elizabeth, a few weeks later, almost in 
the same words used by Lady Bryan in this letter.* A coin- 
cidence which proves unity of purpose between the governess 
and the Princess Mary, regarding the motherless child. 
/Much of the future greatifiess of Elizabeth may reasonably 
be attributed to the judicious training of her sensible and 
conscientious governess, combined with the salutary adversity, 
which deprived her of the pernicious pomp and luxury thai had 
surrounded her cradle while she was treated as the heiress of 
England.7t The first public action of Elizabeth's life was her 
carrying the chrisom of her infant .brother, Edward VL, at the 
christening solemnity of that prince. She was borne in the 
arms of the Earl of Hertford, brother of the queen her step- 
mother, when the assistants in the ceremonial approached the 
font; but when they left the chapel, the train of her little 
Grace, just four years old, was supported by Lady Herbert, the 
sister of Katharine Parr, as, led by the hand of her elder sister, 
the Princess Mary, she walked with mimic dignity, in the 
returning procession, to the chamber of the dying queen.' 

At that period the royal ceremonials of Henry VIII.'s court 
were blended with circumstances of wonder and tragic excite- 

1 For some reason best known to himself, StpTie bas omitted the opening clause of 
this letter. Perhaps on account of the invocation for the $oul of Lady Bryan's friend, 
which proves that Elizabeth's governess belonged to the Catholic Churdi* She was, 
indeed, the same person under whose care the Princess Mary had imbibed that faith with 
such extraordinary fervency. 

a See Life of Queen Mary (S.> » See the Memoir of Jane Seymour (S.). 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Eli;2:ab6th 1 1 

ment^ and strange and; passing sady it. imist ^ve. been|.tosee 
the child of the murdered queen, Anne Boleyn, fratping her. 
innocent lips to lisp the naEQe,of mother to her, lor whose sake 
she had been rendered motherless, and branded with tlie 
stigma of illegitimacy. In all probability the litde. Elizabeth 
knelt to her, as well as to her cruel father, to claim, a benedic- 
tion in her turn, after the royal pair had proudly bestowed their 
blessing on the newly baptized prince, whose christening was 
so soon to be followed by the funeral of the queen his m^Qthei*. 
It was deemed an especial mark of the favour of her royal 
father, that Elizabeth was ponaidered worthy of the honour of 
being admitted to keep company with the young prince her 
brother. She was four years older than him, and having been 
well frained and gently nurtured herself, was ** better able," says 
Hey wood, " to teach and direct him, even from the first of his 
speech and understanding," Cordial and entire was the affec- 
tion betwixt this brother and sister, insomuch that he no sooner 
began to know her but he seemed to acknowledge Iver., and she, 
being of more maturity, as deeply loved him. On the second 
anniversary of Edward's birth, when the nobles of England 
presented gifts of silver and gold, and jewels, to. the infant heir 
of the realm, the Lady Elizabeth's grace gave the simple offering 
of a shirt of cambric worked by her own hands.^ She was 
then six y^rs old. Thus early was this illustrious lady in^ 
structed in the feminine accomplishment of needJe-work, and 
directed to tiurn her l^ours in that way. -to a pleasing 
account c, / 

i^From her cradle, Elizabeth was a child, of the fairest promi$e, 
and possessed . the art of attractitig the regard of others.7^ 
Wriothesley, who visited the two princesses, when they were 
together at Hertford Castle, December 17 th, i5;j9, was greatly 
impressed with the precocious understanding of the young 
Elizabeth, of whom he gives the following pretty account j— 

'* I went then to my Lady Elizabeth's grace, and to the same made his 
Majesty's most hearty commendations, declaring that his Highness desired 
to hear of her health, and. sent his blessing; she gave humble thanks, 
inquiring after his Majesty's welfare, and that with as great a gravity as she 
had been forty years old. If she be no worse educated than she now 
appeareth to me, she will prove of no less honour than beseemeth her 
father's daughter, whom the Lord, long preserve."^ 

The feelings of jealous dislike, which the Princess Mary 
naturally felt towards her infant rival, were gradually subdued, 
by the endearing caresses of the innocent child, when they 

1 Ellis; Royal I^.tlers. » State Papers, 3oth H«.J(n^3.(3gJ^ 

12 Elizabeth 

became sisters in adversity. When Mary again incurred the 
displeasure of her capricious sire, and was forbidden to come 
within a certain distance of the court, Elizabeth became once 
more the associate of her little brother's sports, and afterwards 
shared his studies. -jtThe early predilection of these royal 
children for their learning was remarkable. "As soon as it 
was light they called for their books ; so welcome," says Hey- 
wood, " were their hora matutina that they seemed to prevent 
the night's repose for the entertainment of the morrow's 
schooling." They took no less delight in the practice of their 
religious exercises and the study of the Scriptures, to which 
their first hours were exclusively devoted. " The rest of the 
forenoon," continues our author, " breakfast, alone, excepted, 
they were instructed in languages and science, or moral learn- 
ing, collected out of such authors as did best conduce to the 
instruction of princes, and when he was called out to his more 
active exercises in the open air, she betook herself to her lute 
or viol, and when wearied with that, employed her time in 

On the marriage of the king, her father, with Anne of 
Cleves, in 1540, the young Elizabeth expressed the most ardent 
desire to see the new queen, and to be permitted to pay her the 
homage of a daughter. When her governess made this re- 
quest, in the name of her royal pupil, to the king, he is said to 
have replied, " That she had had a mother so different from 
the queen, that she ought not to wish to see her, but she had 
his permission to write to her Majesty."* On which the 
following letter, probably the first ever written by Elizabeth, 
was addressed by her to her new stepmother. 


"I am straggling between two contending wishes — one is — my 
impatient desire to see your Majesty, the other that of rendering the obedi- 
ence I owe to the commands of the king my father, which prevent me 
from leaving my house till he has given me full permission to do so. But 
I hope that I shall be able shortly to gratify both these desires. In the 
meantime, I entreat your Majesty to permit me to shew, by this billet, the 
zeal with which I devote my respect to you as my queen, and my entire 
obedience to you as to my mother. I am too young and feeble to have 
power to do more than to felicitate you with all my heart in this commence- 
ment of your marriage. I hope that your Majesty will have as much 
good will for me as I have zeal for your service."' 

This letter is without date or signature, and Leti, who rarely 

tiy but the phraseology oj 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

1 Leti's Life of Elizabeth. 

S Ibid. Leti always modernizes not only the orthography but the phraseology of the 
documents he quotes. 

Elizabeth 13 

gives his authorities, does not explain the source whence it was 
derived; but there is no reason to dispute its authenticity. 
He tells us " that Anne of Cleves, when she saw Elizabeth, was 
charmed with her beauty, wit, and endearing caresses — that 
she conceived the most tender affection for her — and when the 
conditions of her divorce were arranged, she requested, as a 
great favour, that she might be permitted to see her sometimes " 
— adding, "that to have, had that young princess for her 
daughter would have been greater happiness for her than being 
queea" The paternal pride of Henry was gratified at this 
avowal, and he agreed that she should see Elizabeth as often 
as she wished, provided that she was only addressed by her as 
the Lady Anne of Cleves,^ 

Elizabeth found no less favour in the eyes of her new step- 
mother, the young and beautiful Katharine Howard, who being 
cousin-german to her unhappy mother, Anne Boleyn, took the 
young princess under her especial protection, and treated her 
with every mark of tenderness and consideration. On the day 
when she was publicly acknowledged by Henry as his queen, 
she directed that the Princess Elizabeth should be placed 
opposite to her at table because she was of her own blood and 
lineage. It was also observed that at all the fetes and public 
shows which took place in honour of her marriage with the 
king. Queen Katharine gave the Lady Elizabeth the place of 
honour nearest to her own person, saying " that she was her 
cousin."* It was supposed that this partial stepmother 
intended to use her powerful influence with the king for the 
repeal of the act of parliament which had pronounced 
Elizabeth to be illegitimate, and thus would she have been 
given a second time the preference to her elder sister in the 
succession. Notwithstanding the favour which was shown to 
Elizabeth by the Howard queen, she was always entreating the 
king her father to allow her to remain with the Lady Anne of 
Cleves, for whom she ever manifested a very sincere regard. 
The attachments formed by Elizabeth in childhood and early 
youth were of an ardent and enduring character, as will be 
hereafter shewn. 

After the disgrace and death of Queen Katharine Howard, 
Elizabeth resided chiefly with her sister Mary, at Havering 
Bower. In the summer of 1543, she was present when Mary 
gave audience to the imperial ambassadors ; ^ she was then ten 
years old. Soon after, King Henry offered her hand to the 

1 LetL 2 Leti's Elizabeth. ^-^ , 

» State Paper MS. See Memoir of Maiy,^^).by GoOglC 

14 Elizabeth 

Earl of Arratt for his son, in order to win his co-operation in 
his darling project of uniting the crowns of England and 
Scotland by a marriage between the infant queen, Mary Stuart, 
and his son Priiace Edward. Perhaps the Scottish earl did not 
give Henry credit for the sincerity of a proposal so derogatory 
to the dignity of the Princess Elizabeth, for he paid little 
attention to this extraordinary offer, and espoused, -the interest 
of the French court. According tct MariHac, Hehry.had pre- 
viously mentioned his intention of espousing Eliaabeth to an 
infant of Portugal, but all Henry's matrimonial schetnes for his 
children were doomed to remain unfulfilled, and Elizabeth, 
instead of being sacrificed in her childhood in some political 
marriage, had the good fortune to complete a most superior 
education under the auspices of ^ the good and Jearned 
Katharine Parr, Henry's sixth queen and her fourth step- 
mother. Katharine Parr was well acquainted with Elizabeth 
before she became queen, and greatly admired her wit and 
manners. On her marriage with the king she induced him to 
send for the young princess to court, and to give her an apart- 
ment in the palace of Whitehall contiguous to her own, and 
bestowed particular attention on all her comforts. According to 
Leti, Elizabeth expressed her acknowledgments in the following 


"The affection that you have testified in wishing that I should be 
suffered to be with you in the court, and requesting this of the king my 
father, with so much earnestness, is a proof of your goodness. So great a 
mark of your tenderness for me obliges me -to examine mj^self a littler to 
see if I can find anything in me that can merit it, but I can find nothing 
but a great zeal and devotion to the service of your Majesty. But as that 
zeal has' not yet been called into actioa so as to manifest itself, I see w«ll 
that it is only the greatness of soul in your Majesty which makes you do 
me this honour, and this redoubles my zeal towards your Majesty. I can 
assure you also that my conduct will be such that you shall never have 
cause to complain of having done me the honour of calling me to you ; at 
least, I will make it my constant care that I do nothing but with a design 
to shew alwa3rs my obedience and respect. I await wiiii much impatience 
the orders of the king my father for the accomplishment of the happiness 
for which I sigh, and I remain, with much submission, your Majesty's very 


1 This and the preceding, addressed to Anne of Cleves, are the earliest letters ever 
written Irv Elizabeth. There is another, two or three years later, addressed by her to Sir 
Thomas Garden, who was one of her father's gentlemen of the ^rivy chambex^ a great 
farourite of his, axvj a very greedy recipient of church propertj^ This person had the 
care of the castle and* lands of Donnington, once belongmg to Chaucer, and afterwards 
part of the spoils confiscated to the Crown on the attainder of De la Pole, and at this time 
an appanage presented to Elizabeth by her father. She afterwards, by her own account, 
forgot she bad such a honse as Donningtoa^ neverthele«s she was perfectly well informed 

Digitized by VjOOglC 

Elizabeth 15 

There is no xlate to this letter, and as Elizabeth certainly 
was present at the nuptials of her royal father with Katharine 
Parr, it is more probable that it was written after the retiim of 
Henry and Katharine from their bridal progress, as fihe ad* 
dresses the latter by her regal title.«^ltzabeth at ttat time was 
a child of extraordinary acquirements, to which were added 
some personal beauty and very graceful manners^ She had wit 
at command, and sufficient discretion to understand when and 
where she might display it. Those who knew her best were 
accustomed to say c^ her, '' that God, who had endowed her 
with such rare gifts, had certainly destined her to some dis- 
tinguished employment in the world." At the age of twelve 
she was considerably advanced in sciences^ which rarely, 
indeed, at that era, formed part of the education of princesses. 
She understood the principles of geography, architecture, the 
mathematics, and astronomy, and astonished all her instructors 
by the facility with which she acquired knowledge; Her hand* 
writing was beautiful, and her skill in languages remarkable)^ 
Hentzner, the German traveller, mentions having seen a little 
volume in the royal library at Whitehall, written by Queen 
Elizabeth, when a child, in Freoch, on vellura. It was thus 
inscribed : 

'* A treshaut, et tres puissant, et redoubt^ prince Henry VIII., de ce 
nom, roy d'Angleterre, de France et de Irelande, dcfenseur de la foy. 
^* Elisabeth, sa tres humble fille, rend sahit et obedience."^ 

Among the royal manuscripts, in the British Museum is a 
small volume, in an embroidered binding, consisting of prayers 
and meditations, selected from different English writers by 
Queen Katharine Parr, and translated and copied by the 
Princess Elizabeth, in Latin, French, and Italian.. The volume 
is dedicated to Queen Katharine Parr, and her initials, R. K. P., 
are introduced in the binding, between those of the Saviour, 
wrought in blue silk and silver thread by the hand of Eliza- 
beth. It is dated Hertford, December 20, 1545. Camden 
also mentions a "Godly Meditation of the Soule, concerning 
love towardes Cbriste our Ixjrde," translated by Elizabeth from 
the French. Her master for the Italian language was Casti- 
glione. Like her elder sister, the Princess. Mary, she was an 
accompKshed Latin scholar, and astonished some of the most 

aa to its minutest details before the death of Henry VII 1. The letter itself is not worth 
transcribing, being a perplexed piece of composition, In which the yoang prinoeaiL com- 
mencing^'' Gentle Mr. Garden, proceeds to exonerate herself from having listened to an 
enemTofhiSi "one Mansel, a person of evil ioclinatioa and worse life," the subscribes 
herself, " Your loving friend, Eliiabcth.'* 
1 Hentzner's Visit to England. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

1 6 Elizabeth 

erudite linguists of that age by the ease and grace with which 
she conversed in that language. French, Italian, Spanish, and 
Flemish, she both spoke and wrote, with the same facility, as 
her native tongue. She was fond of poetry, and sometimes 
made verses that were not devoid of merit, but she only 
regarded this as the amusement of her leisure hours, bestowing 
more of her time and attention on the study of history than 
anything else. t^To this early predilection she probably owed 
her future greatness as a sovereign. Accomplishments may well 
be dispensed with in the education of princes, but history is 
the true science for royal students^ and they should early be 
accustomed to reflect and draw moral and philosophical de- 
ductions from the rise and fall of nations, and to trace the 
causes that have led to the calamities of sovereigns in every 
age ; for neither monarchs nor statesmen can be fitted for the 
purposes of government unless they have acquired the faculty 
of reading the future by the lamp of the past 

Elizabeth was indefatigable in her pursuit of this queenly 
branch of knowledge, to which she devoted three hours a day, 
and read works in all languages that afforded information on 
the subject. It was, however, in this predilection alone that 
she betrayed the ambition which formed the leading trait of 
her character. AMiile thus fitting herself in her childhood for 
the throne, which as yet she viewed through a vista far remote, 
she endeavoured to conceal her object by the semblance of 
the most perfect humility, and affecting a love for the leisure 
and quiet of private life.^ ^ 

In the treaty between Henry VIII. and the Emperor Charles, 
in 1 545,^ there was a proposal to unite Elizabeth in marriage 
to Philip of Spain, who afterwards became the consort of her 
elder sister Mary. The negotiation came to nothing. The 
name of Elizabeth was hateful to Charles V. as the child of 
Anne Boleyn. During the last illness of the king her father, 
Elizabeth chiefly resided at Hatfield House,* with the yoimg 

1 Lett » Herbert's Henry VII. 

S Henry VIII. had forced Goodrich, Bishop of Ely, to surrender this residence, which 
vna a country palace i>ertaining to his see, in exchange for ceruin lands in Cambridge, 
shire, and established it as a nursery palace for his children ; it had been used as such in 
his father's reign, for the youngest son of Elizabeth of York and Henry VII. Edmund 
Duke of Somerset died there. It is (for the structure still exists) a venerable witness of 
the past, situated on the brow of a pleasant hill, overlooking the ancient town of Bishop's 
Hatneld, with the river Lea winding through its grounds : the most antiquated part of 
the building waa erected by Morton^ Bishop of Ely, in the re^^ of Edward^ IV., and a 
little square pleasure garden, with tts hedges clipped in arches, is kept precisely in the 
same state as when Elisabeth sported therein with her little brother. She received a grant 
of this demesne from her brother's regency in 1550, and resided with some splendour and 
magnificence therein during the last years of her sister's life. The cradle 01 Elizabeth is 
hewn here.— History of Hatfield House, by P. F. Robinson, F.A.S. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 17 

prince her brother, whose especial darling she was. It is said 
she shared the instruction which he there received from his 
learned preceptors, Sir John Cheke, Doctor Cox, and Sir 
Anthony Cooke. Elizabeth, after her accession to the throne, 
made Cox Bishop of Ely, and bestowed great favour on Cooke 
and his learned daughters, Lady Bacon and Lady Burleigh* 
They were the companions of her youth, and afterwards the 
wives of two of her most esteemed ministers of state. 

The tender love that endeared Edward and Elizabeth to 
each other, in infancy, appears to have ripened into a sweeter, 
holier friendship, as their kindred minds expanded, *'for/* says 
Sir Robert Naunton, " besides the consideration of blood, there 
was between these two princes a concurrence and sympathy of 
their natures and affections, together with the celestial bond, 
conformity in religion, which made them one." In December, 
1546, when the brother and sister were sejjarated, by the 
removal of Elizabeth to Enfield and Edward to Hertford, the 
prince was so much afiiicted that she wrote to him, entreating 
him to be comforted, and to correspond with her j he replied 
in these tender words ; I 

'■The change of pbce, most dear sister, docs not so much veic me as 

your departure from me- But nothing can now occur to me more grateful . ' 

thwi your letters. 1 particularly feel this, because you first began the | 

correspondence and challenged me to write to you. I thank you most ' 

cordmlly both for your kindness and the quickness of its coming, and I will , , 

strugjjle vigorously that if I cannot excel you I will at least equal you in \.^ 

regmd and attention * It is a comfort to my regret that I hope shortly to i 

see you again if no accident juterrene,*'^ I 

The next time the royal brother and sister met was on the /, 

30th of January, 1547, when the Earl of Hertford and Sir 
Anthony Brown brought young Edward privately from Hertford 
to Enfield, and there, in the presence of the Princess Elizabeth, 
declared to him and her the death of the king their father. 
Both of them received the intelligence with passionate tears, 
and they united in such lamentations as moved all present to 
weep. " Never," says Hay ward, '* was sorrow more sweetly set 
forth, their faces seeming rather to beautify their sorrow than 
their sorrow to cloud the beauty of their faces." ^ 

The boy*king was conducted the next day to London, 
preparatory to his inauguration ; but neither the grief which he 
felt for the death of his parent^ nor the importance of the high 
vocation to which he had been thus early summoned, rendered 
him forgetful of his sweetest sisteTj as he ever called Elizabeth ; 

^ Strfpc ^ Life of Edward VI. 


by Google 

1 8 Elizabeth 

and Ml reply to the letter of condolence, which she addressed 
to him, on the subject of their mutual bereav^nent, he wrote — 
" There i& very little' need of my consoling you, toofet dear 
sister, because from your learning you know what you ought to 
do, and from your prudence and piety you perform what your 
learning cawses you to know." In conclusion, he compliments 
her on the elegance of her sentences, and adds, " I perceive 
you think of our father's death with a calm mind." 

By the conditions of her royal father's will, Elizabeth was 
placed the third in the order of the royal succession after him- 
self, provided her brother and sister died without lawful issue, 
and neither Queen Katharine Parr nor any future queen 
bore children to the king. In point of fortune, she was left on 
terms of strict equality with her elder sister — that is to say, 
with a life annuity of three thousand pounds a year, and a 
marriage portion of t^n thousand pounds, provided she married 
with the consent of the king her brother and his council ; 
otherwise she was to forfeit that provision. 

More than one historian ^ has asserted that Sir Thomas 
Seymour made a daring attempt to contract marriage with the 
youthful Princess Elizabeth, before he renewed his addresses to 
his old love, Katharine Parr. He had probably commenced 
his addresses to the royal girl before her father's death, for her 
govemess,^ Katharine Ashley, positively deposed that it was 
her opinion that if Henry VIII. had lived a little longer, she 
would have been given to him for a wife. Leti tells us, that 
the admiral offered his hand to Elizabeth, immediately after 
King Henry's death : she was then in her fourteenth year. 
According to Sharon Turner, the ambitious project of the 
admiral was detected and prevented by the council ; but Leti, 
who, by his access to the Aylesbury MSS., appears to have 
obtained peculiar information on the private history of the 
reigns of Henry VIII. and Edward VI., assures us, that the 
refusal proceeded from Elizabeth herself. He gives us a truly 
frenchified version of the correspondence which passed between 
her and Seymour, exactly a month after the death of Henry 
VIII. ; * for Seymour's letter, in which he requests the young 
princess to consent to ally herself to him in marriage, is dated 
February 26, 1547 ; and Elizabeth, in her reply, February 27, 
tells him, ** That she has neither the years nor the inclination 
to think of marriage at present, and that she would not have 
any one imagine that such a subject had even, been mentioned 
to her, at a time when she ought to be wholly taken up in 

I Sharon Turner ; Burnet. 8 Leti's Life of Queen Elizabeth. 

Digitized by VjOOg IC 


Elizabeth 19 

weeping £6r< the death of lihe; king hec fkther, ta w'hom she 
owed so many obligations, and that she intended to devote at 
least two years !to wearing- black for him, and moumdng for his 
loss; and that even when she shall have arrived at years of 
discretion, she wishes to retain her liberty, without entering 
into any matchnonial er^agement.'' 

Four days after the admiral received this negative,.he was the 
accepted lover of his Conner ^ncee, the queen-dowager Katha- 
rine Parr. Elizabeth, who had been> on the demise of the 
king her Esther, consigned by the council of the royal minor, 
her brother, to the care and tutelage of Queen Katharine, with 
whom she was then residing, was, according to our author, 
much displeased, at the co»duct of that Jady, not only on 
account of the precipitation with which she had entered into, a 
matrimonial engagement, which was considered derogatory to 
the honoor due to the late king's memory, but because she 
had induced her to reject the addresses of the admiral, by 
representing to her how unsuitable such an alliance would be 
to her, in every point of view. Now, although the queen- 
dowager only performed her duty, as the widow of the deceased i 
Majesty of England, in giving such counsel to the orphan 
princess, to whom she had undertaken the office of a mother, 
her own proceedings, by rendering the motives of her advice 
questionable, excited reflections little to her advantage in the 
mind of Elizabeth, and perhaps sowed the first seeds of the 
fatal jealousy which afterwards divided them. 

According to Leti, the Princess Mary, who was no less 
offended than Elizabeth, at the indecorous haste of their royal 
stepmother's marriage, wrote to Elizabeth, offering her a 
residence in her house, entreating her to quit that of the queen- 
dowager, and come to her, that both might unite in testifying » I 
their disapproval of this unsuitable alliance. 

Elizabeth, however, young as she was, had too much self- 
command to commit herself by putting a public affront on the 
best-loved uncle of the king her brother, who was by no means 
unlikely to supersede Somerset in his office of Protector ; neither 
did she feel disposed to come to a rupture with the queen- 
dowager, whose mfluence with King Edward was considerable : 
therefore, in reply to her sister, she wrote a very politicalletter,^ 

1 Th« whole of this curious letter may be seen in Leti's Life of Elizabeth; but, 
unfortunately, our author's desire of rendering his book entertaining )ias led hiin to^ 
modernise the language and .construction so considerably, that very Te^ traces are dis- 
cernible of the peculiar style of that princess. The readers of the^ 17th and 18th centuries 
neither understood nor valued documentary history ; hence Leti, who had access to so 
many precious, and now inaccessible records, in the collection of his friend the Earl of 
Aylesbury, and also to our national archives, as historiographer to iQng Gharfes II.} only 

20 Elizabeth 

** telling her that it behoved them both to submit with patience 
to that which could not be cured, as neither of them were in a 
position to offer any objection to what had taken place, without 
making their condition worse than it was ; observing, that they 
had to do with a very powerful party, without themselves 
possessing the slightest credit at court ; so that the only thing 
they could do was to dissemble the pain they felt at the dis- 
respect with which their father's memory had been treated/' She 
excuses herself from accepting Mary's invitation, " because," 
she says, " the queen had shewn her so much friendship, that 
she could not withdraw herself from her protection without 
appearing ungrateful;" and concludes in these words: — **I 
shall always pay the greatest deference to the instructions you 
may give me and submit to whatsoever your Highness shall be 
pleased to ordain." The letter is without date or signature. 

For a year, at least, after the death of her royal father, 
Elizabeth continued to pursue her studies under the able 
superintendence of her accomplished stepmother, with whom 
she resided, either at the dower palace at Chelsea, or the more 
sequestered shades of Hanworth.>< Throckmorton, the kinsman 
of Queen Katharine Parr, draws the following graceful portrait 
of the manners of the youthful princess at this era of her life : 

*' Elizabeth there sojourning for a time 
Gave fruitful hope of blossom blown in prime. 

"For as this lady was a princess bom, 

So she in princely virtues did excel ; 
Humble she was, and no degree would scorn, 

To talk with poorest souls she liked well ; 
The sweetest violets bend nearest to the ground, 
The greatest states in lowliness abound. 

'' If some of us that waited on the oueen. 

Did ought for her, she past in thankfulness, 

I wondered at her answers, which have been 
So fitly placed in perfect readiness ; 

She was disposed to mirth in compan^^/ 

Yet still reg^uding dvil modesty." ^ y^ 

The Princess Elizabeth, while residing with Queen Katharine 
Parr, had her own ladies and officers of state, and a retinue in 
all respects suitable to her high rank, as sister to the reigning 

availed himself of such facta as were of a romantic character, and oresented the royal 
letters of the z6th century in phraseology more suitable to the era of Louis XIV. than 
that of Edward VI. ; consequently, many thinijp that were true in substance have been 
doubted, becuise of the inconsistent form in which they were introduced. 
1 Throckmorton MS. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 21 

sovereign. Her governess, Mrs. Katharine Ashley, to whom 
she was fondly attached, was married to a relative of the un- 
fortunate queen her mother, Anne Boleyn, and it is to be 
observed that Elizabeth, although that mother's name was to 
her a sealed subject, bestowed to the very end of her life her 
chief favour and confidence on her maternal kindred. 

The learned William Grindall was Elizabeth's tutor till she 
was placed under the still more distinguished preceptorship of 
Roger Ascham. The following letter from that great scholar 
was addressed to Mrs. Katharine Ashley, before he had ob- 
tained the tutelage of her royal charge, and, both on account 
of the period at which it was written and its being in English, 
it is very curious.^ 


" Would God my wit wist what words would express the thanks you 
have deserved of all true English hearts, for that noble imp (Elizabeth) by 
your labour and wisdom now flourishing in all goodly godliness, the fruit 
whereof doth even now redound to her Grace's high honour and profit 

" I wish her Grace to come to that end in perfectness with likelyhood of 
her wit, and painfulness in her study, true trade of her teaching, which your 
diligent overseeing doth most constantly promise. And although this one 
thing be sufficient for me to love you, yet the knot which haUi knit Mr. 
Astley and you together, doth so bind me also to you, that if my ability 
would match my good will you should find no friend faster. He is a man I 
loved for his virtue before I knew him through acquaintance, whose friend- 
ship I account among my chief gains gotten at court. Your favour to Mr. 
Gnndall and gentleness towards me, are matters sufficient enough to deserve 
more good will than my little power is able to requite. 

" My good will hath sent you this pen of silver for a token. Good Mrs, ,. 
I would have you in any case to labour, and not to give yourself to ease. I 
wish all increase of virtue and honour to that my good lady (Elizabeth), 
whose wit, good Mrs. Astley, I beseech you somewhat favour. Blunt 
edges be dull and (en-) durg much pain to little profit ; the firee edge is 
soon turned if it be not handled thereafter. If you pour much drink at 
once into a goblet, the most part will dash out and run over ; if ye pour it 
softly, you may fill it even to the top, and so her Grace, I doubt not, by 
little and little may be increased in learning, that at length greater cannot 
be required. And if you think not this, gentle Mrs. Astley, yet I trust you 
will take my words as spoken, although not of the greatest wisdom, yet not 
of the least good will. I pray commend you to my good Lady of Troye, 
and all that company of godly gentlewomen. I send my lady (Elizabeth) 
her pen, an Italian book, a book of prayers. Send the silver pen which is 
broken, and it shall be mended quickly. So I commit and commend you 
all to the Almighty's merciful protection. Your ever obliged friend, 

"Roger Ascham. 

** To his very loving firiend Mrs. Astley."' 

On the death of his ' friend, William Grindall, Ascham was 

1 Whittaker's History of Richmondshirfc, vol. iL p. 270. 

> Ascham spells Elizabeth Ashley's name, Astley. r^r^r^rf]r> 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 

?2 Elizabeth 

appointed tutor to the Lady ElizsLbeth^ then .4^out sixteen* 
with whom he read nearly the whole of Cicero's works, Livy, 
the orations of Isocrates, the tragedies of. Sophocles, and the 
New Testament in Greek. Some disturbances in Ascham's 
owti family separated him from his royal pupil in 1550, 

Sufficient account has been given, in the memoir of Queen 
Katharine Parr, of the rude and improper ooadiict of the lord 
admiral Sir Thomas Seymour to the fair young royal student, 
while under the care of his consort the queenrdowager, at 
Chelsea, Hanworth, and Seymour Plac^^ The boisterous 
romping to which the queen was at first a party, was repeated 
in her absence, and when Mrs. Ashley remonstrated with the 
admiral on the indecorum of his behaviour to the young 
princess, and entreated him to desist, he replied with a profane 
oath, " tjiat he would not, for he meant no harm." * 

Few girls of fifteen have ever been placed in a situation of 
greater peril than Elizabeth was at this period of her life, and 
if she passed through it without incurring the actual stain of 
guilt, it is certain that she did not escape scandal. The queen- 
dowager, apparently terrified at the audacious terms of 
familiarity on which she found her husband endeavouring to 
establish himself with her royal stepdaughter, hastened to pre- 
vent further mischief by effecting an immediate separation 
between them. 

The time of Elizabeth's departure from the house and pro- 
tection of Queen Katharine Parr, was a week after Whitsuntide 
1548. She then removed with her governess, Mrs. Katharine 
Ashley, and the rest of her establishment, to Cheston, and 
afterwards to Hatfield. and Ashridge.* 

That Katharine Parr spoke with some degree of severity to 
Elizabeth, on the levity of her conduct, there can be no doubt, 
from the allusions made by the latter, in the following letter, 
to the expressions used by her Majesty when they parted. 
Nothing, however, can be more meek and conciliatory than the 
tone in which Eliiabeth writes, although the workings of a 
wounded mind are perceptible throughout The penmanship 
of the letter is exquisitely beautiful. 

The Princess Elizabeth to Katharine Parr.* 

"Although I could not be plentiful in giving : thanks, for theTnanifold 
kindnesses received at your Highness's hand, at my departure, yet I am 
something to be borne withal, for truly I was replete with sorrow to depart 

1 Life of Katharine Parr (3.). . 2 Haynes StaU Papers 

» Ibid. * Sutc Paper MS. Edward VI.— No. 97. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 



from fo«r H^haesa, especially, seekg you undoubtful of healthy ftnd albeit 
I answered little, I weighed it more deeper when you said — * you would 
warn me of all evrinesses that you should hear of me, for if your Grace had 
not a good opinion of me, you vrouki not have offered firienmhip to me that 
way at all,-^meairfngthe contmry. But what may I more my than! thank 
God for providing such friends for me, desiring God to enrich me with 
their long life, and me grace to be. in heart no less thankful to receive it 
than I am now made glad in writing to shew it? and although I have 
plenty of niatter here, I will stay, for I know yeu are not quick t6 rede. 
From Cheston, this present Saturday. 

" Youi Highness's humblq daughter^ 

. . •'EUZABJ^H,*' 

Superscribed— '^ To the Queen's highness/' 

From another letter addressed by Elizabeth to her royal 
stepmother, which has been printed in the memoir of that 
queen, there is every reason to believe that they continued to 
write to each other on very friendly and affectionate terms. 
Qtieen Katharine even sanctioned a correspondence between 
her husband and the princess, and the following elegant, but 
cautious letter, was written by Elizabeth, in reply to an apology 
which he had addressed to her for not having been able to 
render her some little service which he had promised. 

Thib Lady EXizabbth to the Lord Admiral.^ 


" You needed not to send an excuse to me, for I could not mistrust the 
not fulfilling yofur promise to proceed from want of good will, but only that 
opportunity served not. Wherefore I shall desire you to think that a 
greater matter than this could not make me impute any unkindness in you,, 
for I am a friend, not won with trifles, nor lost with the like. Thus I com- 
mit you and your afiairs -into God's hand, who keep you from all evil I 
pray you to ooake my hnmble commendations to t^e Queen's highaess. 
** Your assured friend to my little power,. 

^* Elizabeth." 

Katharine Parr, during her last illness, wished much to see 
Elizabeth, and left her, in her will," half her jewels, and. a rich 
chain of gold. She had often said to her, "God has given you 
great qualities, cultivate them always, and labour to improve 
them, for I believe that you are destined by Heaven to be 
Queen of England." * 

One of the admiral's servants, named Edward, came to 
Cheston, or Cheshunt, where the Lady Elizabeth was then 
residing with her governess and train, and brought the 
news of Queen Katharine's death. He told the officers of 
Elizabeth's household " that his lord was a heavy," that is to 

1 Hearoe's Sylloge. 

« Leti's Elizabeth. 

mzed by Google 

24 Elizabeth 

say, a sorrowful " man, for the loss of the queen his wife." * 
Elizabeth did not give Seymour much credit for his grief; for 
when her governess, Mrs. Ashley, advised her, as he had been 
her friend in the lifetime of the late queen, to write a letter of 
condolence to comfort him in his sorrow, she replied, " I will 
not do it, for he needs it not." "Then," said Mrs. Ashley, "if 
your Grace will not, then will I." * She did, and shewed the 
letter to her royal pupil, who, without committing herself in 
any way, tacidy permitted it to be sent Lady Tyrwhit, soon 
after, told Mrs. Ashley " that it was the opinion of many that 
the lord admiral kept the late queen's maidens together to wait 
on the Lady Elizabeth, whom he intended shortly to marry." 
Mrs. Ashley also talked with Mr. Tyrwhit about the marriage, 
who bade her " take heed, for it were but undoing, if it were 
done without the council's leave." At Christmas the report 
became general that the Lady Elizabeth should marry with the 
admiral, but Mrs. Ashley sent word to Sir Henry Parker, when 
he sent his servant to ask her what truth were in this rumoiu-, 
" that he should in no-wise credit it, for it was ne thought ne 
meant."* Mrs. Ashley, however, by her own account, fre- 
quently talked with Elizabeth on the subject, wishing that she 
and the admiral were married. Elizabeth, who had only com- 
pleted her fifteenth year two days after the death of Queen 
Katharine Parr, had no maternal friend to direct and watch 
over her — there was not even a married lady of noble birth or 
alliance in her household — a household comprising upwards of 
one hundred and twenty persons — so that she was left entirely 
to her own discretion, and the counsels of her intriguing 
governess, Mrs. Katharine Ashley, and the unprincipled 
cofferer, or treasurer of her house, Thomas Parry, in whom, as 
well as in Mrs. Ashley, she reposed unbounded confidence. 
These persons were in the interest of the lord admiral, and did 
everything in their power to further his presumptuous designs 
on their royal mistress. 

Leti, who, from his reference to the Aylesbury MSS., had 
certainly the best information on the subject, gives Elizabeth 
credit for acting with singular prudence under these circum- 
stances : he tells us, that very soon after the death of Queen 
Katharine, the lord admiral presented himself before Elizabeth, 
clad in all the external panoply of mourning, but having, as she 
suspected, very little grief in his heart. He came as a wooer 
to the royal maid, from whom he received no encouragement, 

1 HafDes' State Papers. 

> Ibid. s n}id. p. xoi. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 25 

but he endeavoured to recommend his cause to her through 
her female attendsmts. One of her bedchamber women, of the 
name of Mountjoye, took the liberty of speaking openly to her 
youthful mistress in favour of a marriage between her and the 
admiral, enlarging at the same time on his qualifications in 
such unguarded language that Elizabeth, after trying in vain to 
silence her, told her at last, " that she would have her thrust 
out of her presence if she did not desist." 

There can, however, be little doubt that a powerful impression 
was made on Elizabeth by the addresses of Seymour, seconded, 
as they were, by the importunity of her governess, and all who 
possessed her confidence. The difference of nearly twenty 
years in their ages was, probably, compensated by the personal 
graces which had rendered him the Adonis of her father's court, 
and she was accustomed to blush when his name was men- 
tioned, and could not conceal her pleasure when she heard him 
commended. In a word, he was the first, and perhaps the 
only, man whom Elizabeth loved, and for whom she felt dis- 
posed to make a sacrifice. She acknowledged that she would 
have married him provided he could have obtained the con- 
sent of the council.^ To have contracted wedlock with him 
in defiance of that despotic junta, by which the sovereign power 
of the Crown was then exercised, would have involved them 
both in ruin ; and even if passion had so far prevailed over 
Elizabeth's characteristic caution and keen regard to her own 
interest, Seymour's feelings were not of that romantic nature 
which would have led him to sacrifice either wealth or ambition 
on the shrine of love. My lord admiral had a prudential eye 
to the main chance, and no modern fortune-hunter could have 
made more particular inquiries into the actual state of any 
lady's finances than he did into those of the fair and youthful 
sister of his sovereign, to whose hand he, the younger son of a 
country knight, presumed to aspire. The sordid spirit of the 
man is sufiBciently unveiled in the following conversation be- 
tween him and Thomas Parry, the cofferer of the Princess 
Elizabeth, as deposed by the latter before the council : ^ — 

" When I went unto my lord admiral the third and fourth 
time," says Parry, "after he had asked me how her Grace did? 
and such things, he had large communications with me of her, 
and he questioned me of many things, and of the state of her 
Grace's house, and how many servants she kepi, and I told him 
* 1 20 or 140, or thereabouts.' Then he asked me what houses 
she had and what lands ? I told him where the lands lay as 

1 Haynes' State Papers. > Ibid. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

26 Elizabeth 

near as I could — ^in Northamptonshire, Berksliire, Lincoln, and 
elsewhere. Then he asked me if they were good land? or 
no? and I told him they were out on lease, for the most 
part, and therefore the worse. ^ He asked me also whether 
she had the lands for term of life or how ? and I said, I could 
not perfectly tell, but I thought it was such as she was ap- 
pointed by her father's will and testament, the king's majesty 
that then was." 

The admiral proceeded to inquire if she had had her letters 
patent out ? and Parry replied, " No ; for thare were some 
thing)s in them that could not be assured to her Grace yet, 
(probably till she was of age,) and that a friend of her Grace 
would help her to an exchange of lands that would be more 
commodious to her." The admiral asked, "What friend?" 
and Parry replied^ "Morisyn, who would help h^ to have 
Ewekn for Apethorpe." On which the admiral proposed making 
an exchange with the princess himself for some of their lands, 
and spake much of his three fair houses, Bewdley, Sudeley, 
and Bromeham, and fell to comparing his housekeeping with 
that of the princess,^ and that he could do it with less expense 
than she was at, and offered his house in London for her use. 
At last he said, " when her Grace came to Ashridge it was not 
far out of his way, and he might come to see her in his way up 
and down, and would be glad to see her there." Parry told 
him, "he could not go to see her Grace till he knew what her 
pleasure was." "Why," said the admiral, "it is no matter 
now, for there hath been a talk of late that I shall marry my 
Lady Jane I " adding, " I tell you this merrily — I tell you this 
merrily." • 

When these communications had been made to the Lady 
Elizabeth) she caused Mrs. Ashley to write two letters to the 
admiral ; one declaring her good will, but requesting him not 
to come without the council's permission for that purpose ; die 
other declaring " her acceptation of his gentleness, and that he 
would be welcome, but if he came not, she prayed God to 
speed his journey;*' concluding in these words from Ashley 
herself — " No more hereof until I see my lord myself, for my 
iady is not to seek of his gentleness or good will." 

There is no absolute evidence to prove that Seymour availed 
himself of this implied permission to visit the princess, but 
every reason to suppose he did, and that by the connivance 
of her govetness and state officers he had clandestine interviews 
with the royal girl, at times and places, not in accordance with 

1 Haynes' State Papers. * Ibid. * Ibid. 

Digitized by VjOOg IC 

Elizabeth 27 

the restraints and reserves with which a maiden princess, of her 
tender years, owght to have been surrounded. Reports of a 
startlmg nature reached the court, and the Duchess of 
Somerset severely censured Katharine Ashley " because she had 
permitted my Lady Elizabeth's grace to go one night on the 
Thames in a barge, and for other light parts," saying, " that she 
was not worthy to have the governance of a king's daughter." * 

When Elizabeth was preparing to pay her Christmas visit to 
court, she was at a loss for a town residence, Durham House, 
which had formerly been granted to her mother. Queen Anne 
Boleyn, before her marriage with King Henry, and to which Eliza- 
beth considered she had a right, having been appropriated by 
King Edward's council to the purpose of a mint. Elizabeth made 
application by her cofferer, Thomas Parry, to the lord admiral 
for his assistance in this matter, on which he very courteously 
offered to give up his own town-house for her accommoda- 
tion and that of her train,^ adding, " that he would come and 
see her Grace." " Which declaration," says Parry, " she seemed 
to take very gladly, and to accept it joyfully. On which," 
continues he, " casting in my mind the reports which I had 
heard of a marriage between them, and observing, that at all 
times when, by any chance, talk should be had of the lord 
admiral, she showed such countenance that it should appear 
she was very glad to hear of him, and especially would show 
countenance of gladness when he was well spoken of, I took 
occasion to ask her whether, if the council would like it, she 
would marry with him? To which she replied, 'When that 
comes to pass, I will do as God shall put into my mind. ' " * 

" I remember well," continues Parry, " that when I told her 
Grace how that the lord admiral would gladly, she should sue 
out her * letters patents,* she asked me, * whether he were so 
desirous or no, indeed?' I said *yes, in earnest he was 
desirous of it ; ' and, I told her farther, * how he would have 
had her have lands in Gloucestershire, called Prisley, as in 
parcel of exchange, and in Wales ; * and she asked me, ! what I 
thought he meant thereby ? ' and I said, • I cannot tell, unless 
he go about to have you also, for he wished your lands and 
would have them that way/."* 

This broad hint Elizabeth received, as it appears, in silence ; 
but when Parry proceeded to inform her, that the admiral 

1 Haynes' State Papers. ' 

s Bam Inn, B bouse of the bishops of Bath and Wells, vhkh had been torn from that 
see by the rapacious Seymours, was the town residence of the lord admiral at that time, 
which, with all its famitura, he offered to Thonaas Parry fortheu9s x>f^the Princess 
Elizabeth during her stay in London.— Burghley's State Papers. ^— j 

» Haynes' State Papers. * Ibid. Digitized by LjOOglC 

28 Elizabeth 

wished her to go to the Duchess of Somerset, and by that 
means to make suit to the Protector for the exchange of the lands, 
and for the grant of a house, instead of Durham House, for 
herself; and so to entertain the duchess for her good offices 
in this afiair, the spirit of the royal Tudors stirred within her, 
and she said, " I dare say he did not say so, nor would." 

" Yes, by my faith," replied the cofferer. 

"Well," quoth she, indignantly, "I will not do so, and so tell 
him ; " she expressed her anger that she should be driven to 
make such suits, and said, " In faith I will not come there, nor 
begin to flatter now." ^ 

Shortly after, the Lady Elizabeth asked Parry, ** whether he 
had told Kate Ashley of the lord admiral's gentleness and 
kind offers, and those words and things that had been told 
to her." 

" I told her, no," said Parry. 

" Well," said Elizabeth, " in any wise go tell it her, for I will 
know nothing but she shall know it. In faith, I cannot be 
quiet until ye have told her of it." 

When Parry told the governess, she said — "that she knew it 
well enough ; " and Parry rejoined, " that it seemed to him that 
there was good will between the lord admiral and her Grace, 
and that he gathered both by him and her Grace." 

"Oh," said Mrs. Ashley, "it is true; but I had such a 
charge in this that I dare nothing say in it, but I would wish 
her his wife of all men living. I wis,*' quoth she, "he might 
bring the matter to pass at the council's hands well enough." 

A long gossiping conversation between the cofferer and the 
governess then followed, in which Mrs. Ashley, after adverting 
to some passages in the early stage of the princess's acquaintance 
with the admiral, and the jealousy Queen Katharine Parr had 
conceived of her, suddenly recollected herself, and told Parry 
she repented of having disclosed so many particulars to him, 
especially of the late queen finding her husband, with his arms 
about the young princess, and besought the cofferer not to 
repeat it, for if he did, so that it got abroad, her Grace should 
be dishonoured for ever, and she likewise undone.^ Parry 
replied, " that he would rather be pulled with horses than he 
would disclose it." Yet it is from his confession that this 
scandalous story has become matter of history. 

While the admiral was proceeding with this sinister courtship 
of Elizabeth, and before his plans were sufficiently matured to 
permit him to become a declared suitor for her hand, Russell, 

1 Hajmes' Sute Papers. * Ibid. p. q6. 


by Google 


the Lord Privy Seal, surprised him by saying to him, as they 
were riding together, after the Protector Somerset to the par- 
liament house, ** My lord admiral, there are certain rumours 
bruited of you, which I am very sorry to hear." When Seymour 
demanded his meaning, Russell told him, " that he was informed 
that he made means to marry either with the Lady Mary, or else 
with the Lady Elizabeth/' adding, " My lord, if ye go about any 
such thingj ye seek the means to undo yourself^ and all those 
that shall come of you/' Seymour rephed, *4hat he had no 
thought of such an enterprise," and so the conversation ended 
for that time.^ A few days afterwards, Seymour renewed the 
subject in these words, "Father Russell, you are very sus- 
picious of me ; I pray you tell me, who shewed you of the 
marriage, that I should attempt, whereof, ye brake with me the 
other day ?" Russell replied, "that he would not tell him the 
authors of that tale, but that they were his very good friends^ 
and he advised him to make no suit of marriage thai way.^' 

Though no names were mentioned^ Seymour, who svell knew 
the allusion was to the sisters of their sovereign, replied signifi- 
cantly, ^* It is convenient for them to marry, and better it were, 
that they were married within the realm, than in any foreign 
place without the realm; and why," continued he, "might not 
I or another man, raised by the king their father, marry one of 

Then said Russell, "My lord, if either you, or, any other 
within this realm shall match himself, in marriage, either with 
my Lady Mary or my Lady Elizabeth, he shall undoubtedly, 
whatsoever he be, procure unto himself the occasion of his 
utter undoing, and you especially, above all others, being of 
so near alliance to the king's majesty." And, after explaining 
to the admiral the perilous jealousies which would be excited 
by his marrying with either of the heirs of the crown, he asked 
this home question, ** And I pray you, my lord, what shall you 
have with either of them ? " 

*' He who marries one of them shall have three thousand a 
year," replied Seymour. 

"My lord, it is not so,'* said Russell j "for ye may be well 
assured that he shall have no more than ten thousand pounds 
in money, plate, and goods, and no land ; and what is that to 
maintain his charges and estate, who matches himself there? " 

"They must have the three thousand pounds a year also," 
rejoined Seymour. 

Russell, with a tremendous oath *' protested that they should 

1 Tytliir^s State Papers, ^l il, p. 6, Digitized by GoOglc 

30 Elizabeth 

not ; " and Seymour, with another, asserted, " that they should, 
and that none should dare to say nay to it." ^ 

Russell, with a second oath, swore, " that he wQuld say nay 
to it, for it was clean against the king's will ; " and the admiral, 
profligate as he was, finding himself outsworn by the hoary- 
headed old statesman, desisted from bandying oaths with him 
on the subject. 

The most remarkable feature in this curious dialogue is, 
however, the anxiety displayed by Seymour on the pecuniary 
prospects of his royal love. He sent one of his servants, about 
this time, to Lady Brown (celebrated by Surrey under the 
poetic name of Fair Geraldine) who appears to have been a 
very intimate friend and ally of his, advising her to break up 
housekeeping, and to take up her abode with the Lady Eliza- 
beth's grace to save charges. Lady Brown replied, " that she 
verily purposed to go to the Lady Elizabeth's house that next 
morning," but she appears to have been prevented by the sick- 
ness and death of her old husband. It was suspected that 
Seymour meant to have employed her in furthering some of 
his intrigues.^ 

The Protector and his coxmcil, meantime,: kept a jealous 
watch on the proceedings of the admiral, not only with regard 
to his clandestine addresses with the Lady Elizabeth, but his 
daring intrigues to overthrow the established regency, and get 
the power into his own hands. There was an attempt, on the 
part of Somerset, to avert the mischief by sending the admiral 
on a mission to Boulogne ; and the last interview the Princess 
Elizabeth's confidential servant. Parry, had with him was in his 
chamber, at the court, where he was preparing for this unwel- 
come voyage,® . The following conversation then took place : — 
The admiral asked, " How doth her Grace, and when will she 
be here?" 

Parry replied, ** that the Lord Protector had not determined 
on the day." 

" No," said the admiral, bitterly ; " that shall be when I am 
gone to Boulogne." 

Parry presented Mrs. Ashley's commendations, and said " it 
was her earnest wish that the Lady Elizabeth should be his wife." 

" Oh I " replied the admiral, " it will not be ; " adding, " that 
his brother would never consent to it" * 

On the 1 6th of January, the admiral was arrested on a charge 
of high treason, having boasted that he had ten thousand men 
at his command, and suborned Sharrington, the master of the 

1 Tytlef s Sute Papers. > Haynes' Bute Papers. > Ibid. * Ibid. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 31 

mint at Bristol, to coin a large sum of false money to support 
him in his wild projects. He was committed to the Tower, and 
not only his servants, but the principal persons in the household 
of the Princess Elizabeth were also arrested, and subjected to 
very strict examination by the council, in order to ascertain the 
nature of the admiral's connection with the princess, and how 
far she was implicated in his intrigues against the government. 
In fact, Elizabeth herself seems to have been treated as a 
prisoner of state, while these momentous investigations were 
proceeding ; for, though she made earnest supplication to be 
admitted to the presence of the king her brother, or even to 
that of the Protector, in order to justify herself, she was detained 
at her house at Hatfield, under the especial charge of Sir Thomas 
Tyrwhit, who certainly was empowered by the council to put 
her and her household under restraint. 

Very distressing must this crisis have been to a girl in her 
sixteenth year, who had no maternal friend to counsel and 
support her, under circumstances, that were the more painful, 
because of the previous scandals in which she had been inr 
volved, at the time of her separation from her royal stepmother, 
on account of the free conduct of the admiral. All the par- 
ticulars of his coarse familiarity and indelicate romping with 
Elizabeth, had been cruelly tattled by her govemiess, Mrs^ 
Katharine Ashley, to Parry the cofferer, and were by him dis- 
closed to the council, and confirmed by the admissions of Mrs^ 
Ashley. The fact, that, notwithstanding those things, Elizabeth 
was receiving the clandestine addresses of this bold bad man^ 
almost before Queen Katharine was cold in her grave, was 
injurious to her reputation, and caused her to be treated with 
less respect and consideration from the council, than ought to 
have been shewn to a royal lady, of her tender age, and the 
sister of the sovereign. • 

Sir Robert Tyrwhit first announced to her the alarming tidings 
that Mrs. Ashley and her husband, with Parry, had all been 
committed to the Tower on her account ; on which, he says, 
** her Grace was marvellously abashed, and did weep, very ten- 
derly, a long time, demanding 'whether they had confessed 
anything ? ' " Tyrwhit assured her, " that they had confessed 
everything, and urged her to do the same." Elizabeth was not 
to be thus easily outwitted, and Tyrwhit then endeavoured to 
terrify her by requiring her " to remember her honour, and the 
peril that might ensue, for she was but a subject *' ^ — an innuendo 
that might have been somewhat alarming to so young a girl, 

Digitized by VjOOg IC 

32 Elizabeth 

considering her mother, though a queen, had died by the sword 
of the executioner ; but the lofty spirit of Elizabeth was not to 
be thus intimidated, and Tyrwhit told Somerset " that he was not 
able to get anything from her but by gentle persuasion, whereby 
he began to grow with her in credit," " for I do assure your 
Grace," continues he, " she hath a good wit, and nothing is to 
be gotten from her but by great policy." She was, however, 
greatly disturbed when he told her that Parry and Mrs. Ashley 
had both confessed, and in confirmation shewed her the sig- 
natures to their depositions ; on which she called Parry " false 

Tyrwhit told her what sort of a woman Mrs. Ashley was, and 
assured her " that if she would open all things, that all the evil 
and shame should be ascribed to them, and her youth taken 
into consideration by his Majesty, the Protector, and the whole 
council." " But in no way," continues he, " will she confess 
any practice by Mrs. Ashley, or the cofferer concerning my lord 
admiral ; and yet 1 do see it in her face that she is guilty, and 
yet perceive that she will abide more storms ere she will accuse 
Mrs. Ashley." 

On the 28th of January, Tyrwhit informs the Protector " that 
he has, in obedience to his letter of the 26th, practised with her 
Grace, by all means and policy, to induce her to confess more 
than she had already done, in a letter which she had just 
written to the duke, with her own hand, which contained all 
that she was willing to admit ; " and Tyrwhit expresses his con- 
viction that a secret pact had been made by the princess, Mrs. 
Ashley, and Parry, never to confess anything to the crimination 
of each other ; " and if so," continues he, " it will never be 
drawn from her Grace, unless by the king her brother, or the 
Protector. The following is the letter written by Elizabeth to 
Somerset, which tallies, as Tyrwhit very shrewdly observes, 
most remarkably with the depositions of Ashley and Parry, and . 
induces him to think that they had all three agreed in thai? 
story, in case of being questioned, or, to use his own expression, 
" set the note before." 2 

The Lady Elizabeth to the Lord Protector. 


"Your great gentleness and good will towards me, as well in this 
thing as in other things, I do understand, for the which even as I 
ought, so I do give you humble thanks ; and whereas your lordship ykilleth 
and counselleth me as an earnest friend, to declare what I know in this 
matter, and also to write what I have declared to Master Tyrwhit, I shall 

* Haynes' State Papers. 

a Ibid. This curious simile alludes to the note being pitched for singing in unison. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 33 

most willingly do it. I declared unto him first, that after the cofferer 
had declared unto me what my lord admiral answered, for Allen's matter,^ 
and for Durham Place (that it was appointed to be a mint), he told 
me that my lord admiral did offer me his house for my time being 
with the king's majesty, and further said and asked me, ' if the council 
did consent that I should have my lord admiral, whether I would consent 
to it, or no ? ' I answered, * that I would not tell him what my mind 
was ; ' and I further inquired of him * what he meant by asking me 
that question, or who bade him say so ? ' He answered me, and said, 

* Nobody bode him say so, but that he perceived, as he thought, by my 
lord admiral inquiring whether my patent were sealed or no, and debating 
what he spent in his house, and inquiring what was spent in my house, 
that he was given that way rather than otherwise.* And as concerning 
Kat Ashley iy whick familiar name Elizabeth always speaks of her 
governess^ she never advised me to it, but said always, when any talked of 
my marriage, ' that she would never have me marry, neither in England 
nor out of England, without the consent of the king's majetsy, your Grace's, 
and the council's.' And after the queen was departed — {A cool way, by the 
bye, of alluding to the death of Queen Katharine Parr, from whom Elizabeth 
had in her tender childhood received the most essential offices of friendship 
and maternal kindness) — when I asked of her — * What news she heard 
from London ? ' she answered, merrily, * They say, your Grace shall have 
my lord admiral, and that he will shortly come to woo you. And, more- 
over, I said unto him, that the cofferer sent a letter hither, that my lord 
said thai he would come this way as he went down into the country.' Then i \ 
I bade her write as she thought best, and bade her shew it to me when she I ' 
had done ; so she wrote, * that she thought it not best, (that the admiral ] ' 
should come,) for fear of suspicion,' and so it went forth, (that is, the letter ,j ; 
was sent,) and the lord admiral, after he had heard that, asked the cofferer, j 

* why he might not come to me as well as to my sister? ' and then I desired { 
Kat Ashley to write again (lest my lord might think that she knew more in \ 
it than he), that she knew nothing, but only suspected, and I also told Master • 
Tyrwhit that to the effect of the matter — {Here Elizabeth evidently alludes to 

the report of his intended courtship) — I never consented to any such thing [ 

without the council's consent thereto. And as for Kat Ashley and the i 

cofferer, they never told me that they would practise it, (l e., compass the 
marriage,) These be the things which I declared to Master Tyrwhit, and 
also, whereof my conscience beareth me witness, which I would not for all 
earthly tilings offend in anything, for I know I have a soul to be saved as 
well as other folks have, wherefore I- will, above all things, have respect j 

unto thb same. If there be any more things which I can remember, I will \ 

either write it myself, or cause Mr. Tyrwhit to write it. ] 

"Master Tyrwhit and others have told me that there goeth rumours \ 

abroad which be greatly both against my honour and honesty, which, \ 

above all other things, I esteem, which be these, that I am in the Tower, [ 

and with child by my lord admiral.* My lord, these are shameful slanders, i . 

for the which, besides the great desire I have to see the king's majesty, I \ 

shall most heartily desire your lordship that I may come to the court after 
your first determination that I may shew myself there as I am. Written in 
haste from Hatfield, this 28ih of January. 

** Your assured friend to my little power, 


1 A request made by Elizabeth to the admiral in behalf of one of her chapJainjk^^ T - 

a Hayaes' State Papers, 90. Digitized by vjUO^LL 

34 Elizabeth 

This letter, which is in Haynes' edition of the Burleigh State 
Papers, entitled, "The Confession of the Lady Elizabeth's grace," 
is one of the most interesting documents connected with her 
personal history. There is a curious mixture of child-like 
simplicity and diplomatic skill, in her admissions, with that 
affectation of candour which often veils the most profound dis- 
simulation. Her endeavours to screen her governess are, how- 
ever, truly generous, and the lofty spirit with which she adverts 
to the scandalous reports that were in circulation against her 
reputation, is worthy of the daughter of a king, and conveys a 
direct conviction of her innocence. There is no affectation of 
delicacy or mock modesty in her language ; she comes to the 
point at once, like an honest woman, and in plain English tells 
the Protector of what she had been accused, and declares that 
it is a shameful slander, and demands that she may be brought 
to court that hw appearance may prove her innocence. It is 
to be remembered that Elizabeth was little turned of fifteen 
when this letter was penned. 

On the 7th of February, Tyrwhit succeeded in drawing a 
few more particulars from Elizabeth, which he forwarded to 
the Duke of Somerset, enclosed in the following note to his 
Grace : — 

**I do send all th« articles I received from your Grace, and also the Lady 
Elizabeth's confession, withal, which is not so full of matter as I would it 
were, nor yet so much as I did procure her to ; but in no way will she con- 
fess that either Mrs. Ashley or Parry willed her to any practices with my 
lord admiral, either by message or writing. They all sing one song, and 
so I think they would not, unless they had set the note before. — Feb. 7, 

In Elizabeth's hand. 

** Kat Ashley told me, ' that after the lord admiral was married to the 
queen, if he had had his own will he would have had me afore the c^ueen.' 
Then I asked her 'How she knew that?' She said, 'she knew it weU 
enough both by himself and others.' The place where she said this I have 
forgotten, but she spoke to me of him many times." 

Then Tyrwhit wrote the rest of the confession, but under 
the inspection of the princess, as follows : — 

" Another time, after the queen was dead, Kat Ashley would have had 
me to have written a letter to my lord admiral to have comforted him in 
his soKTO/W, because he had been my friend in the queen's lifetime, and 
would think great kindness therein. Then I said, ' I would not, for he 
needs it not' Then said Kat Ashley, * If your Grace will not, then will 
I.' I remember I did see it, (i.e., the consolatory letter Elizabeth thought 
so superfluous to the widower^) but what the effect of it was I do not 

" Another time I asked her, ' what news was •t London^' and she said, 

Digitized by VjOQglC 

Elizabeth 35 

'The Yoice went there that my Lord Admiral Seyibottr should many me/ I 
smiled at that, and replied, * It was but a London news.' One day she 
said, * Jle that fain would have had you before he married the queen will 
come now to woo you.' I answered her, 'Though perad venture he himself 
would have me, yet I think the (privy) council will not consent, but I think 
by what you said if Ae had his own will he would have had me.' I thought 
there was no let (hindrance) of his part, but only on that of the council. 
Howbeit, she said another time, * that she did not wish me to have him, 
because she who had him was so unfortunate.'" 

Elizabeth then informs the duke that Parry asked her, "if 
the council consented, whether she would have the lord 
admiral or no." " I asked him," pursues she, " what he meant 
by that question, and who bade him ask me ? He replied, 
'No one, but he gathered by questions asked by the lord 
admiral before, that Ae meant some such thing.' I told him it 
was but his foolish gathering." She says. Parry brought a 
message froni the lord admird, advising her, " first to get her 
patents sealed and sure, and then he would apply to the council 
for leave to marry her." Likewise that the lord admiral wished 
her to reside at Ashridge, because it was in his way, when he 
went into the country, to call and see her. Elizabeth signed 
this confession with her own hand, and very blandly concludes 
the paper with an assurance to Somerset ** that if she remem- 
bered any more she would be sure to forward the items to 

It was, doubtless, for the purpose of shaking Elizabeth's con- 
fidence in Mrs. Ashley that Tyrwhit shewed her the deposition 
of that trusty official, which revealed all the particulars of the 
liberties the admiral had presumed to offer to her, while she 
was under the care of his late consort. Queen Katharine. 
Elizabeth appeared greatly abashed and half breathless, while 
reading the needlessly minute details, which had been made 
before the council, of scenes in which she had been only a 
passive actor, but as Mrs. Ashley had abstained from disclo- 
sures, of any consequence, touching her more recent inter- 
course with Seymour, she expressed no displeasure, but when 
she had read to the end, carefully examined the signatures, 
both of Katharine Ashley and Parry, as if she had suspected 
Tyrwhit of practising an imposition, " though it was plain," 
observes^ he, " that she knew both at half a glance."^ 

In one of Tyrwhit's letters to Somerset, he says, "that 
Master Beverly and himself have been examining the cofferer's 
accounts, which they find very incorrect, and the books so 

i'Haynes' State Papers. 

> Ibid., wbere (he deposition* ai« iii faU. r^ ' i 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

36 Elizabeth 

^indiscreetly^ kept, that he appears little fit for his office; that 
her Grace's expenses are at present more than she can afford, 
and therefore she must perforce make retrenchments. She 
was desirous that the Protector should not appoint any one to 
be her cofferer till she had spoken to him herself, for she 
thought an officer of less importance would serve for that 
department, and save in her purse a hundred pounds a year."^ 

This proved to be only an excuse, on the part of the young 
lady, to keep the office open for Parry, whom she took the first 
opportunity of reinstating in his post, although she had been 
given full proof of his defalcations ; and so far was she from 
resenting the nature of his disclosures, with regard to the 
improper confidence that had been reposed in him by her 
tattling governess, that she afterwards, on her accession to the 
throne, appointed him the comptroller of her royal household, 
and continued her preferment to him and his daughter to the 
end of their lives, — conduct which naturally induces a suspicion 
that secrets of greater moment had been confided to him — 
secrets that probably would have touched not only the maiden 
fame of his royal mistress, but placed her life in jeopardy, and 
that he had preserved these inviolate. The same may be sup>- 
posed with respect to Mrs. Ashley, to whom Elizabeth clung 
with unshaken tenacity through every storm, even when the 
council dismissed her from her office, and addressed a stern 
note to her Grace the Lady Elizabeth, apprising her that they 
had, in consequence of the misconduct of Mrs. Katharine 
Ashley, removed her from her post, and appointed the Lady 
Tyrwhit to take her place as governess to her Grace, and 
requiring her to receive her as such.^ 

The disdainful manner in which the young lioness of the 
Tudor-Plantagenet line received the new duenna, who had 
been contumeliously put in authority over her by her royal 
brother's council, is best related in the words of Sir Robert 
Tyrwhit himself, who, in his two-fold capacity of spy and jailer, 
seems to have peculiar satisfaction, in telling tales of the de- 
fenceless orphan of Anne Boleyn, to the powerful brother of 
her murdered mother's rival, Jane Seymour. " Pleaseth your 
Grace to be advertised," he writes, "that after my wife's repair 
hither, she declared to the Lady Elizabeth's grace, that she 
was called before your Grace and the council, and had a rebuke, 
that she had not taken upon her the office to see her well 
governed in the lieu of Mrs. Ashley."^ This reproof to Lady 
Tyrwhit must have had reference to the time when all the 

1 Haynes' State Fapen. » Ibid. < Ibid. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 37 j 

parties concerned were living under the roof of Queen Katharine * 

Parr, whose lady in waiting Lady Tyrwhit was. \ 

The Lady Elizabeth replied, "that Mrs. Ashley was /i^ \ 

mistress, and that she had not so demeaned herself that the 
council should now need to put any more mistresses unto her." 
** Whereunto," pursues Tyrwhit, "my wife answered, 'seeing 
she did allow Mrs. Ashley to be her mistress, she need not to 
be ashamed to have any honest woman to be in that place.' 
She took the matter so heavily that she wept all that night, 
and loured all the next day till she received your letter ; and j 

then she sent for me, and asked me * whether she were best to 
write to you again or not.' I said, * if she would follow the 
effect of your letter (meaning if she would comply with the 
injunctions contained in it) I thought it best that she should 
write, but in the end of the matter, I perceived that she was 
very loth to have a governor, and to avoid the same, she said, 
* that the world would note her to be a great offender, having 
so hastily a governor appointed over her,' and all is no more 
than that she fully hopes to recover her old mistress again. 
The love she yet beareth her is to be wondered at. I told 
her (Elizabeth), that if she would consider her honour, and the 
sequel thereof, she would, considering her years, make suit 
to your Grace to have one, rather than be without one a single 

" She cannot digest such advice in no way," continues Sir 
Robert, drily ; " but if I should say my fantasy, it were more 
meet she should have two than one," He then complains, that 
although he favoured her Grace with his advice as to the manner 
in which she should frame her reply to Somerset, she would in 
no wise follow it, "but writ her own fantasy." And in the 
right of it too, we should say, considering the treacherous 
nature of the counsellor, who, serpent-like, was trying to beguile 
her into criminating herself, for the sake of employing her 
evidence against the luckless admiral, who was at that very time 
struggling in the toils of his foes, and vainly demanding the 
privilege of a fair trial. That Elizabeth did not contemplate 
his falX and the plunder of his property without pain Tyrwhit 
bears witness. " She beginneth now to droop a little," writes 
that watchful observer, " by reason that she heareth my lord 
admiral's houses be dispersed;^ and my wife telleth me, now, 
that she cannot hear him discommended but she is ready to 
make answer, which," continues Tyrwhit, " she hath not been 

1 Hayn€s* State Papers. The meaning is, the lord admiral's houses were^^ven avaiy, 
and his hoittebold discharged. Digi^i.^d by (^OOgle 

38 Elizabeth 

accustomed to do, unless Mrs. Ashley were touched, whereunto 
she was ever ready to make answer, vehemently in her 

The following is the letter which Elizabeth addressed to 
Somerset, instead of that which his creature, Tyrwhit, had 
endeavoured to beguile her into writing. It is marked with all 
the caution that characterized her diplomatic correspondence, 
after the lessons of worldcraft, in which she finally became an 
adept, were grown familiar to her. She, however, very properly 
assumes the tone of an injured person with regard to the 
scandalous reports that were in circulation against her, and 
demands that he and the council should take the requisite steps 
for putting a stop to those injurious rumours : — 

Lbttsr from the Lady Elizabeth to the Protector Somerset. 

"my lord, 
'* Having received your lordship's letters, I perceive in them your 
good will towards me, because you declare to me plainly your mind in this 
thing, and again for that you would not wish that I should do anything 
that should not seem good unto the council, for the which thing I give you 
most hearty thanks. And whereas., I do understand, that you do take in 
evil part the letters that I did write unto your lordship, I am very sorry 
that you should take them so, for my mind was to declare unto you plainly, 
as I thought, in that thing which I did, also the more willingly, because 
(as I write to you) you desired me to be plain with you in all things. And 
as concerning that point that you write, that I seem to stand in mine 
own wit, it ^ing so well assured of mine own self, I did assure me of 
myself no more than I trust the truth shall try ; and to say that which I 
know of myself I did not think should have displeased the counsel or your 
Grace. And, surely, the cause why that I was sorry that there should be 
any such about me, was because that I thought the people will say that I 
deserved, through my lewd demeanour, to have such a one, and not that I 
mislike anything that your lordship, or the council, shall think good, for I 
know that you and the council are charged with me, or that I take upon 
me to rule myself, for I know that they are most deceived that trusteth 
most in themselves, wherefore I trust you shall never find that &ult in me, 
to the which thing I do not see that your Grace has made any direct answer 
at this time, and seeing they make so evil reports already shall be but an 
increasing of these evil tongues. Howbeit, you did write * that if I would 
bring forth any that had reported it, you and the council would see it 
redressed,' which thing, though I can easily do it, I would be loth to do, 
because it is mine own cause ; and, again, that it should be but abridging 
of an evil name of me that am glad to punish them, and so get the evil wifl 
of the people, which thing I would be loth to have. But if it might seem 
good to your lordship, and the rest of the council, to send forth a proclama- 
tion into the countries that they refrain their tongues, declaring how the 
tales be but lies, it should make both the people think that you and the 
council have great regard that no such rumours should be spread of any of 
the king's majesty's sisters, (as I am, though unworthy,) and also that I 
should think myself to receive such friendship at your hands as you have 
promised me, although your lordship hath shewed me great already. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 39 

Howbeit, I am ashamed to ask it any more, because I see you are not 
so well minded thereunto. And as concerning that you say that I give 
folks occasion to think, in refasing the good to uphold the evil, I am not of 
so simple understanding, nor I would that your Grace should have so evil an 
opinion of me that I have so little respect of my own honesty, that I would 
maintain it if I had sufficient promise of the same, and so your Grace shall 
prove me when it comes to the point. And thus I bid you farewell, 
desiring God always to assist you in all your affairs. Written in haste. 
From Hatfelde, this 2ist of February. 

*' Your assufcd friend, to my little power, 


[Superscribed. — **To my very good lord, my Lord Protector."^] 

To such a horrible extent had the scandals to which 
Elizabeth adverts in this letter proceeded, that not only was it 
said that she had been seduced by Seymour, and was about to 
become a mother, but that she had actually borne him a child. 
From the MS. life of Jane Dormer, Duchess of Feria, who had 
been in the service of her sister the Princess Mary, we learn, 
" that there was a report of a child born and miserably destroyed, 
but that it could not be discovered whose it was. A midwife 
testified that she was brought from her house blindfold to a 
house where she did her office, and returned in like manner. 
She saw nothing in the house but candle-light, and only said it 
was the child of a very fair young lady." This wild story was 
but a modem versicm of an ancient legend, which is to be met 
with among the local traditions of every county in England, 
in border minstrelsy and ballad lore, and even in oriental tales ; 
and it had certainly been revived by some of the court gossips 
of Edward the Sixth's reign, who thought proper to make the 
youthful sister of that prince the heroine of the adventure. 

The council had offered to punish any one whom Elizabeth 
could point out as the author of the injurious rumours against 
her character, and her observation in her letter to Somerset, 
in reply to this offer, " that she should but gain an evil name 
as if she were glad to punish, and thus incur the ill-will of the 
people, which she should be loth to have," is indicative of 
the profound policy, which throughout life, enabled this great 
queen to win and retain the affections of the men of England. 
Popularity was a leading object with Elizabeth from her child- 
hood to the grave, and well had nature fitted her to play her 
part with eclat in the splendid drama of royalty. 

On the 4th of March, 1549, the bill of attainder against 
Thomas Seymour Baron Sudley, lord admiral of England, was 
read for the third time in the House of Lords ; and though his 
courtship of Elizabeth formed one of the numerous articles 

l.LansdowB MSS. Brit. Mus. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

40 Elizabeth 

against him, and it must have been a season replete with 
anxious alarm and anguish to herself, she generously ventured 
to write an earnest appeal to Somerset in behalf of her 
imprisoned governess, Mrs. Ashley, and her husband, who 
were, as she had every reason to suppose, involved in the same 
peril that impended over her rash lover, with whom they had 
been confederate. 

Her letter is written in a noble spirit, and does equal credit 
to her head and heart, and is a beautiful specimen of special 
pleading in a girl of fifteen. 

Letter from Elizabeth to the Protector Somerset.* 

"my lord, 
" I have a request to make unto your Grace which fear has made me 
omit till this time for two causes,- the one because I saw that my request for 
the rumours which were spread abroad of me took so little place, which 
thing when I considered, I thought I should little profit in any other suit ; 
howbeit, now I understand that there is a proclamation for them (for the 
which I give your Grace and the rest of the council most humble thanks), I 
am the bolder to speak for another thing ; and the other was, because, 
peraventure your lordship and the rest of the council will think that I 
favour her evil doing, for whom I shall speak, which is Kateryn Ashley, 
that it would please your Grace and the rest of the council to be good unto 
her. Which thing I do, not to favour her in any evil (for that I would be 
sorry to do), but for these considerations, that follow, the which hope doth 
teach me in saying, that I ought not to doubt but that your Grace and the 
rest of the council will think that I do it for other considerations. First, 
because that she hath been with me a long time, and many years, and hath 
taken great labour and pain in bringing me up in learning and honesty ; 
and, therefore, I ought of very duty speak for her ; for Saint Gregorie 
sayeth, ' that we are more bouod to them that bringeth us up well than to 
our parents, for our parents do that which .is natural for them that bringeth 
us into this world, but our bringers up are a cause to make us live well in 
it.' The second is, because I think that whatsoever she hath done in my 
lord admiral's matter, as concerning the marrying of me, she did it because 
knowing him to be one of the council, she thought he would not go about 
any such thing without he had the council's consent thereunto ; for I have 
heard her many times say * that she would never have me marry in any 
place without your Grace's and the council's consent.* The third cause is, 
because that it shall, and doth make men think, that I am not clear of the 
deed myself; but that it is pardoned to me because of my youth, because 
that she I loved so well is in such a place. Thus hope, prevailing more 
with me than fear, hath won the battle, and I have at this time gone forth 
with it ; which I pray God be taken no otherwise than it is meant Written 
in haste from Hatfield, this seventh day of March. Also, if I may be so 
bold, not offending, I beseech your Grace and the rest of the council to be 
good to Master Ashley, her husband, which, because he is my kinsman, I 
would be glad he should do well. 

** Your assured friend, to my little power, 

** Elizabeth. 

** To my very good lord, my Lord Protector." 

1 MSS. Lansd. 2236, foL 35. 

Digitized by VjOOg IC 

Elizabeth 41 

There is something truly magnanimous in the manner in 
which Elizabeth notices her relationship to the prisoner Ashley, 
at the time when he was under so dark a cloud, and it proves 
that the natural impulses of her heart were generous and good. 
The constitutional levity, which she inherited from her mother, 
appears, at that period of her life, to have been her worst 
fault, and though she afterwards acquired the art of veiling this 
under an affectation of extreme prudery, her natural inclination 
was perpetually breaking out, and betraying her into follies 
which remind one of the conduct of the cat in the fable, who 
was turned into a lady, but never could resist her native 
penchant for catching mice. 

On the 20th of March, Seymour was brought to the block : 
he had employed the last evening of his life in writing letters 
to Elizabeth and her sister, with the point of an aglet, which 
he plucked from his hose, being denied the use of pen and ink. 
These letters, which he concealed within the sole of a velvet 
shoe, were discovered by the emissaries of the coimcil, and 
opened. No copies of these interesting documents have 
apparently been preserved, but Bishop Latimer, in his sermon 
in justification of the execution of the unhappy writer, described 
them to be " of a wicked and dangerous nature, tending to 
excite the jealousy of the king's sisters against the Protector 
Somerset, as their great enemy." ^ 

When Elizabeth was informed of the execution of the admiral, 
she had the presence of mind to disappoint the malignant 
curiosity of the official spies, who were watching to report every 
symptom of emotion she might betray on that occasion, and 
merely said, 

"This day died a man, with much wit, and very little 

Although this extraordinary instance of self-command might, 
by some, be regarded as a mark of apathy in so young a woman ; 
there can be no doubt that Elizabeth had been entangled in 
the snares of a deep and enduring passion for Seymour — ^passion 
that had rendered her regardless of every consideration of pride, 
caution, and ambition, and forgetful of the obstacle which 
nature itself had opposed to a union between the daughter of 
Anne Boleyn and a brother of Jane Seymour. That Elizabeth 
continued to cherish the memory of this unsuitable lover with 
tenderness — not only after she had been deprived of him by 
the axe of the executioner, but for long years afterwards — ^may 

1 See the Memoir of Queen Katharine Parr (S.). 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

42 Elizabeth 

be inferred from the fkvcrar which she always bestowed on his 
faithful follower, Sir John Harrington the elder,i and the fact, 
that when she was actually the sovereign of England, and had 
rejected the addresses of many of the princes of Europe 
Haxxington ventured to present her with a portrait of his 
deceased lord, the admiral, with the following descriptive 
sonnet : — 

** Of person rare, strong limbs and manly shape, 
By nature framed to serve on sea or land ; 
In friendship firm, in good state or ill hap, 
In peace head-wise, in war-skill great bold band. 
On horse or foot, in peril or in play, 
None could excel, though many did essay. 
A subject true to king, a servant great. 
Friend to God's truth, and foe to Rome's deceit ; 
Sumptuous abroad for honour of the land. 
Temperate at home, yet kept great state with stay, 
And noble house, that fed more mouths with meat 
Than some, advanced on higher steps to stand ; 
Yet against nature, reason, and just laws. 
His blood was spilt, guiltless, without just cause. '* 

The gift was accepted, and no reproof addressed to the 

Elizabeth had six ladies of honour in her household at Hat- 
field, whose names are celebrated by Sir John Harrington, in a 
complimentary poem which he addressed to that princess early 
in Mary's reign. The poem commences : — 

The great Diana chaste, 

In forest late I met, 
Did me command in haste 

To Hatfield for to get ; 
And to you, six a-row. 

Her pleasure to declare, 
Thus meaning to bestow 

On each a gift most rare. 

1 Sir J<^ii Harrington the elder, was oririnally in tha service of King Henry VIII., 
and much in his confidence. He married Ethelred Make, alias Dyngley, the king's 
natural daughter, by Joanna Dynglev or Dobson, and obtained widi her a large portion 
of the confiscated church lands, which the king, out of his special love and regard ror her, 
gave for her use and benefit ; but she always passed for the illegitimate daughter of 
John MaltB, the king's tailor, to whose care she was committed in her infancy for nurture 
and education. Harrington .married this young lady in z^, and settled with her at 
Keiston, the gift of Henry VHI. After the death of thb illegitimate scion of royalty. 
Harrington entered into the service of the lord admiral, and was very sbictly examined 
by the council of Edward VI. as to the intercourse of his lord with the Lady Elizabeth ; 
but he could neither be cajoled nor menaced into acknowledgments tending to criminate 
them. ^ Elizabeth took him into her own household, and he remained faithfully attached 
to her interest to the end of his life. His second wife, the beautiful Isabella Markham, 
was one of Elizabeth's maids of honour, whom he has immortalized in his poetical works 
as "Sweet Isabella Markham." See Nugae Antiquse, by Sir John Harrington the 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 43 

First she doth give to Grey 

The falcons' courteous kind. 
Her lord for to obey 

With most obedient mind." 

He proceeds to praise Isabella Markham for her modesty 
and beauty ; Mrs. Norwich for goodness and gravity ; Lady 
Saint Lowe ^ for stability ; Lady Willoughby for being a laurel, 
instead of a- willow; and Mrs. Skipwith for prudence. Elizabeth 
chose to personate Diana or Pallas all her life. 

1 Lady Saint Lowe was afterwards the CountesR of Shrewslrary, who has acquired aa 
infamous celefaritv by hec injniioiu treatment of Moiy Queen of Scots, while a prisoner 
under her lord's cnarge. 


by Google 


Elizabeth's scholastic pursuits — Ascham — Elizabeth's letter to Edward VI. — Her jSrst 
communication witli Cecil — She goes to court — Her simplicity of att|re — Her con- 
formity to the Reformation— Prevented from seeing King Edward — Her letter to 
him — Her household at Hatfield — Prix-y purse expenses — Her letter to the council — 
Death of Edward VI. — Elizabeth escapes Northumberland's snares— Required to 
acknowledge Lady Jane Gray's title— I*rudent answer — Meets her sister — Enters 
London with Mary — ^Admiration of the people — Popularity with the Protestants — 
Queen's jealousy — Elizabeth refuses the mass — Queen Mary's displeasure — Elizabeth 
dissembles and conforms— Given precedency next the queen at the coronation — Dines 
with the queen and Anne of Cleves— Intrigues of the French ambassador— Plots in 
favour of Elizabeth and Courtenay^ Increasing coolness of the queen — Elizabeth 
forbidden to quit the palace — Or to receive visits — Matrimonial proposals — Offered an 
asylum in France — Courtenay betrays the plot — Wyat's rebellions— Elizabeth impli- 
cated therein — Queen Mary sends for her— Her excuses — Mandate for her appearance 
— Her journey from Hatfield to court— Entrance into London — Queen refuses to see 
her — Her death desired by the council — Intercepted letters to Elizabeth— Gardiner's 
accusations against her — Her household discharged — Her distress — Her letter to Queen 
Mary — She is carried by water to the Tower — Her disconsolate condition. 

kThe disastrous termination of Elizabeth's first love affair, 
appears to have had the salutary effect of inclining her to habits^ 
of a studious and reflective character. She was for a time 
under a cloud, and during the profound retirement in which 
she was doomed to remain for at least a year after the execution 
of the lord admiral, the energies of her active mind found 
employment and solace in the pursuits of learning. She 
assumed a grave and sedate demeanour, withal, and bestowed 
much attention on theology, which the polemic spirit of the 
times rendered a subject of powerful interest. ">< 

Her new governess. Lady Tyrwhit, had been the friend of 
the late queen, Katharine Parr, and was one of the learned 
females who had supported the doctrines of the Reformation, 
and narrowly escaped the fiery crown of martyrdom; and 
though Elizabeth had, in the first instance, defied her authority, 
there is reason to believe that she was reconciled to her after 
the first effervescence of her high spirit had subsided, and the 
assimilation of their religious feelings produced sympathy and 
good will between them. A curious little devotional volume 
is mentioned by Anthony-a-Wood, as having once belonged to 
Queen Elizabeth, which was compiled by this lady for her use, 
when acting as her preceptress. It was of miniature size, 
bound in solid gold, and entitled, " Lady Elizabeth Tyr whit's 
Morning and Evening Prayers, with divers Hymns and 
Meditations." ^ 

1 This precious relic was, at the time Anthony-a-Wood wrote, in the possession of th« 
Rev. Mr. Ashley, of Barrow, in Suffolk. 


Digitized by VjOOQ iC 

Elizabeth 45 

It was probably about this period that Elizabeth translated 
an Italian sermon of Occhines, which she transcribed in a 
hand of great beauty, and sent to her royal brother, as a New 
Year's gift. The dedication is dated Enfield, December 30, 
but the year is not specified ; the MS. is now in the Bodleian 

Not in vain did Elizabeth labour to efface the memory of her 
early indiscretion, by establishing a reputation for learning and 
piety. The learned Roger Ascham, under whom she perfected 
herself in the study of the classics, in his letters to Sturmius, 
the rector of the Protestant university, at Strasburg, is enthusi- 
astic in his encomiums on his royal pupil, of whose scholastic 
attainments he is justly proud. "Numberless honourable 
ladies of the present time," says he, " surpass the daughters of 
Sir Thomas More, in every kind of learning; but amongst 
them ^11, my illustrious mistress, the Lady Elizabeth, shines like 
a star, excelling them more by the splendour of her virtues 
than by the glory of her royal birth. In the variety of her 
commendable qualities, I am less perplexed to find matter for 
the highest panegyric, than to circumscribe that panegyric 
within just bounds; yet, I shall mention nothing respecting 
her but what has come under my own observation. For 
two years she pursued the study of Greek and Latin under my 
tuition, but the foundations of her knowledge in both languages 
were laid by the diligent instruction of William Grindall, my 
late beloved friend, and seven years my pupil in classical 
learning, at Cambridge. From this university he was summoned 
by John Cheke to court, where he soon after received the 
appointment of tutor to this lady.. 

"After some years, when through her native genius, aided 
by the efforts of so excellent a master, she had made a great 
progress in learning, and Grindall, by nis merit and the favour 
of his mistress, might have aspired to high dignities, he was 
snatched away by a sudden illness. I was appointed to succeed 
him in his office, and the work which he had so happily begun, 
without my assistance, indeed, but not without some counsels 
of mine, I diligently laboured to complete. Now, however, 
released from the throng of a court, and restored to the felicity 
of my former learned leisure, I enjoy, through the bounty of 
the king,^ an honourable appointment in this university. 
y " The Lady Elizabeth has completed her sixteenth year ; -and 
so much solidity of understanding, such courtesy united with 
dignity, have never been observed at so early an age. She 

1 Edward VI. * 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

46 Elizabeth 

has the most ardent love of true religion and the best Jdnd of 
literature ; the constitution of her mind is exempt ffom female 
weakness, and she is endued with masculine power of applica- 
tion ; no apprehension can be quicker than hers, no memory 
more retentive. Frendx and Italian she speaks like English ; 
Latin with fluency, propriety, and judgment. She also spoke 
Greek with me frequently, willingly and moderately well. 
Nothing can be more elegant than her handwriting, whether in 
the Greek or the Roman character. In music she is very 
skilful, but does not greatly delight. With respect to personal 
decoration, she greatly prefers a simple elegance, to show and 
splendour, so despising the outward adorning of plaiting the 
hair and wearing of gold, that in the whole manner of her life 
she rather resembles Hippc^yta than Phsedra.'^ 

" She read with me almost the whole of Cicero, and a great 
part of Livy : from those two authors her knowledge of the 
Latin language has been almost exclusively derived. The 
beginning of the day was always devoted by her to the New 
Testament in Greel^ after which she read select orations of 
Isocrates, and the tragedies of Sophocles, which I judged 
best adapted to supply her tongue with the purest diction, her 
mind with the most excellent precepts, and her exahed station 
with a defence against the utmost power of fortune. For her 
religious instruction, she drew first from the fountains of 
Scripture, and afterwards from St Cyprian, the ^Commonplaces^ 
of Mclancthon, and similar works, which convey pure doctrine 
in elegant language. 

" In every kind of writing she easily detected any ilUadaptefl 
or far-fetched expression. She could not bear those feeble 
imitators of Erasmus, who bind the Latin language in the 
fetters of miserable proverbs. On the other hand, she approved 
a style, chaste in propriety, and beautiful in perspicuity, and she 
greatly admired metaphors when not too violent, and antitheses 
when just, and happily opposed. By a diligent attention to 
these particulars, her ear became so practised and so nice, that 
there was nothing in Greek, Latin, or English prose or verse, 
which according to its merits or defects, she did not either 
reject with disgust or receive with the highest delight." 

The letters from which these passages have been extracted, 
were written by Ascham, in I^tin, in the year 1550, when he 
Iraud for some reason been compelled to withdraw from his 
situation in Elizabeth's household. The commendations Of 
this great scholar, had probably some share in restoring her to 
the &vour of the learned young king, her brother, whose early ^ 

Digitized by VjOOglC 

Elizabeth 47 

affecttoQ for the dearly-loved companion of his infancy, appears 
to have revived after a time, and though the jealousy of the 
sehisb statesmen who held him in thrall, prevented the princely 
boy irom gratifying his yearnings for her presence, he wrote^tp 
her to send him her portrait. 

Elizabeth, in her reverential, and somewhat pedantic epistle, 
in reply, certainly gives abundant evidence of the taste for 
metaphors to which Ascham adverts in his letters to Sturmius. 

Letter from the Princess Elizabeth to King Edward VI., 
WITH A Present of her Portrait.^ 

'* Like as the rich man that daily gathereth riches to riches, and to one 
bag of money layeth a great sort till it come to infinite, so methinks your 
Majesty, not being sufficed with many benefits and gentlenesses shewed to 
me afore this time, doth now increase them in asking and desiring where 
you may bid and command, requiring a thing not worthy the desiring for 
itself, but made worthy for your Highness' joequest. My picture, I mean, 
in which, if the inward good mind toward your Grace might as well be de- 
clared as the outward face and countenance shall be seen, I would not 
have tarried the commandment but prevented it, nor have been the last to 
grant but the first to offer it. For the face I grant I might well blush to 
offer, but the mind I shall never be ashamed to present. For though from 
the grace of the picture the colours may fade by time, may give by weather, 
may be spotted by chance ; yet the other, nor time with her swift wings 
shall overtake, nor the misty clouds with their lowerings may dairken, nor 
chance with her slippery foot may overtiirew. 

^' Of this, although yet the proof could not be great, because the occasions 
hath been 1)ut small, notwithstanding as a dog hatb a day, so may I per- 
chance have time to declare it in deeds, where now I do write them but in 
words. And further, I shall most ^humbly beseech your Majesty, that when 
you shall look on my picture, yon will vouchsafe to think, that, as you have 
but the outward shadow of the body afore you, so my inward mind wisheth 
that the body itself were oftener in your presence ; howbeit, because both 
my so being I think could do your Majes^ little pleasure, though myself 
great good*; and again, because I see as yet not the time agreeing'thereunto, 
I shall learn to follow this saying of Orace < Horace), * Feras non culpes 
quodvUari tMnpUest.^ And thus I will (troubling your Majesty I fear) end 
with my most humble thanks. Beseeching God long to preserve you to his 
honour, to your comfort, to the realm's profit, and to my joy. From 
Hatfield, this 15th day of May. 

** Your Majesty's most humble sister, 


In the summer of 1550, Elizabeth had succeeded in reinstat- 
ing her trusty cofferer, Thomas Parry, in his old office, and she 
employed him to write to the newly-appointed secretary of 
state, William Cecil, afterwards Lord Burghley, to solicit him 
to bestow the parsonage of Harptree, in the county of Somerset, 
on John Kenyon, the yeoman of her robes. A lamentable 

1 Cotton. MS., Vcsp F. iii. fol. s 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 

48 Elizabeth 

instance of an unqualified layman, through the patronage of 
the great, devouring that property which was destined for the 
support of efficient ministers of the Church. Such persons em- 
ployed incompetent curates as their substitutes, at a starving 
salary, to the great injury and dissatisfaction of the congregation. 

Parry's letter is dated September 22nd, from Ashridge.^ 
" Her Grace," he says, " hath been long troubled with rheums 
(rheumatism),^ but now, thanks be to the Lord, is nearly well 
again and shortly ye shall hear from her Grace again." A good 
understanding appears to have been early established between 
Elizabeth and Cecil, which possibly might be one of the under- 
currents that led to her recal to court, where, however, she 
did not return till after the first disgrace of the Duke of 

On the 17th of March, 1551, she emerged from the profound 
retirement in which she had remained since her disgrace in 
1549, and came in state to visit the king her brother. She 
rode on horseback through London to St James's Palace, 
attended by a great company of lords, knights, and gentlemen, 
and after her about two hundred ladies. On the 19th, she 
came from St. James's, through the park, to the court. The 
way from the park-gate to the court was spread with fine sand. 
She was attended by a very honourable confluence of noble 
and worshipful persons of both sexes, and was received with 
much ceremony at the court gate.* 

That wily politician, the Earl of Warwick, afterwards Duke 
of Northumberland, had considered Elizabeth, young and 
neglected as she was, of sufficient political importance to send 
her a duplicate of the curious letter addressed by the new 
council jointly to her and her sister, the Lady Mary, in which a 
statement is given of the asserted misdemeanours of Somerset, 
and their proceedings against him.* The council were now at 
issue with Mary on the grounds of her adherence to the ancient 
doctrines, and as a conference had been appointed between her 
and her opponents on the i8th of March, it might be to divert 
popular attention from her and her cause, that the younger and 
fairer sister of the sovereign was permitted to make her public 
entrance into London, on the preceding day, and that she was 
treated with so many marks of unwonted respect. Thus we 
see Mary makes her public entry on the i8th, with her train all 

1 Tytler's Edward and Mary, vol. i. 

3 Or catarrh— cold ; the word rheums being used indifferently at that era for both 
» Strype's Memorials. 
* Tytler's Edward and Mary, vol. L 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 49 

decorated with black rosaries and crosses,^ and, on the 19th, 
Elizabeth is again shewn to the people, as if to obliterate any 
interest that might have been excited by the appearance of the 
elder princess. The love of Edward VI. for Elizabeth was so 
very great, according to Camden, that he never spoke of her by 
any other title than his " dearest sister," or " his sweet sister 
Temperance."* Elizabeth at that period affected extreme 
simplicity of dress, in conformity to the mode which the rigid 
rules of the Calvinistic Church of Geneva was rendering general, 
among the stricter portion of those noble ladies who professed 
the doctrines of the Reformation. 

"The king her father," says Dr. Aylmer,' "left her rich 
clothes and jewels, and I know it to be true that in seven years 
after his death she never, in all that time, looked upon that 
rich attire and precious jewels but once, and that against her 
will ; and that there never came gold or stone upon her head, 
till her sister forced her to lay off her former soberness, and 
bear her company in her glittering gayness, and then she so 
wore it, that all men might see, that her body carried that 
which her heart misliked. I am sure that her maidenly apparel 
which she used in King Edward's time made the noblemen's 
wives and daughters ashamed to be dressed and painted like 
peacocks, being more moved with her most virtuous example, 
than with all that ever Paul or Peter wrote, touching that 

The first opening charms of youth Elizabeth well knew 
required no extraneous adornments, and her classic tastes 
taught her that the elaborate magnificence of the costumes of 
her brother's court, tended to obscure, rather than enhance, 
those graces, which belonged to the morning bloom of life. 

The plainness and modesty of the Princess Elizabeth's 
costume, was particularly noticed, during the splendid festivities 
that took place on the occasion of the visit of the Queen-dowager 
of Scotland, Mary of Lorraine, to the court of Edward VI., in 
October, 1551. The advent of the beautiful regent of the 
sister kingdom, and her French ladies of honour, fresh from the 
gay and gallant Louvre, produced no slight excitement among 
the noble belles of King Edward's court, and it seems that a 
sudden and complete revolution in dress took place, in conse- 
quence of the new fashions, that were then imported, by Queen 

1 Memoir of Mary (S.). 
• Gsimden's Introduction to Elizabeth's Life. 

8 The learned tutor of Lady Jane Gray, in an encomium which be wrote on Eliiabeth, 
after her accession to the throne, entitled, " The Harbour for Faithful Subjects." 
« Aylmer's Harbour for Faithful Subjects. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

50 Elizabeth 


Mary and her brilliant cortege; **so that all the ladies went 
with their hair frounsed, curled, and double curled, except the 
Princess Elizabeth, who altered nothing," says Aylmer, "but 

pt her old maiden shamefacedness." ^ 

At a later period of life, Elizabeth made up, in the exuberance 
of her ornaments and the fantastic extravagance of her dress, 
for the simplicity of her attire when in the bloom of sweet 
seventeen. What would her reverend eulogist have said, if, 
while penning these passages in her honour, the vision of her 
three thousand gowns, and the eighty wigs of divers coloured 
hair, in which his royal heroine finally rejoiced, could have 
risen in array before his mental eye, to mark the difference 
between the Elizabeth of seventeen and the Elizabeth of 
seventy? The Elizabeth of seventeen had, however, a purpose 
to answer and a part to play, neither of ^diich were compatible 
with the indulgence of her natural vanity, and that inordinate 
love of dress which the popular preachers of her brother's court 
were perpetually denouncing from the pulpit. Her purpose 
was the re-establishment of that fair fame, which had been 
sullied by the cruel implication of her name by the Protector 
Somerset and his creatures, in the proceedings against the lord 
admiral ; and in this she had, by the circumspection of her 
conduct, the unremitting manner in which she had, since that 
mortifying period, devoted herself to :the pursuits of learning 
and theology, so fully succeeded, that she was now regarded as. 
a pattern for all the youthful ladies of the .court -^ 

The part, which she was ambitious of performit^, was that 
of the heroine of the reformed party in England, even as her 
sister Mary was of the Catholic portion of the people. That 
Elizabeth was already so considered, and that the royal sisters 
were early placed in incipient rivalry to each other, by the 
respective partisans of the warring creeds which divided the 
land, may be gathered from the observations of their youthful 
cousin. Lady Jane Gray, when urged to wear the costly dress 
that had been presented to her by Mary — " Nay, that were a 
shame, to follow my Lady Mary, who leaveth God's word, and 
ieave my Lady Elizabeth, who foUoweth God's word." 

Elizabeth wisely took no visible part in the struggle between 
the Dudley and Seymour factions, though there is reason to 
believe that Somerset tried to enlist her on his side. The 
following interrogatory was put to him on one of his examina- 
tions : — " Whether he did not consent that Vane should labour 
the Lady Elizabeth to be offended with the Duke of Northum- 

1 Aylmer's Harbour for Faithful Subjects. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 51 

berland, then Earl of Warwick, the Earl of Pembroke, and 
others of his council ? " ^ The answer to this query has not 
been found, or it might possibly throw some Kgbt on the history 
of Elizabeth at that period. She certainly had no cause to 
cherish the slightest friendship for Somerset, for though it 
appears, from her letter to her sister Mary, that he had 
succeeded in persuading her that he was not guilty of his 
brother's death, yet, by bringing all the particulars of the mdis- 
cretions that had taken place between her and die admiral 
before the council, he had acted with the utmost cruelty 
towards herself, and cast a blight on her morning flower of 

If we may believe Leti, Somerset sent a piteous suppli- |. 

cation to Elizabeth from the Tower, imploring her to go to |; 

the king, and exert her powerful influence to obtain his 
pardon ; and she wrote to him in reply, " that being so young 
a woman, she had no power to do anything in his behalf" and ' 

assured him **that the king was surrounded by those who 
took good care to prevent her from approaching too near the 
court, and she had no more opportunity of access to his 
Majesty than himsdf." 

The fall of Somerset made, at first, no other diflerence to 
Elizabeth, than the transfer of her applications for the restora- 
tion of Durham House from him to the Duke of Northumber- 
land, who had obtained the grant of that portion of Somerset's 
illegally acquired property. Elizabeth persisted in asserting 
her claims to this demesne, and that with a high hand, for she 
addressed an appeal to the Lord Chancellor on the subject 
She openly expressed her displeasure, that Northumberland i 

should have asked it of the king, without first ascertaining her 
disposition touching it, she made a peremptory demand that 
the house should be delivered up to her, and sent word to 
Northumberland, " that she was determined to come and see | 

the king at Candlemas, and requested that she might have the ' 

use of SL James's Palace for her abode, pro tempore^ because I 

she could not have her things so soon ready at the Strand ! 

House." 2 

"But," concludes Northumberland, after relating these 
energetic proceedings of the young lady, " I am sure her Grace 
would have done no less, though she had kept Durham House. '^ 
This observation certainly refers to her wish of occupying St. ■ 

Jameses Palace. 

1 Tytler's Edward and Mary, vol. iL p. 49. ^^ ' \ 

■ See Northumberland's letter in Tytlcr, voL li, pp. x6x-i63.^^ t 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 

52 Elizabeth 

It was, however, no part of Northumberland's policy to 
allow either of the sisters of the young king to enjoy the 
opportunity of personal intercourse with him, and least of 
all, Elizabeth, whom, from the tender friendship that had ever 
united them, and, more than all, the conformity of her pro- 
fession with Edward's religious opinions, he might naturally 
have been desirous of appointing as his successor, when his 
brief term of royalty was drawing to a close. That Elizabeth 
made an attempt to visit her royal brother in his sickness 
(at what period is uncertain), and that she was circumvented 
in her intention, and intercepted on her approach to the 
metropolis, by the agents of the faction, that had possession 
of his person, she herself informs him in the following letter, 
in which she evinces a truly sisterly solicitude for his health. 

Letter from the Princess Elizabeth to King Edward VI.^ 

'' Like as a shipman in stonny weather plucks down the sails tarrying for 
better winds, so did I, most noble king, in my unfortunate chance on 
Thursday, pluck down the high sails of my joy and comfort, and do trust 
one day that, as troublesome waves have repulsed me backward, so a gentle 
wind will bring me forward to my haven. Two chief occasions moved me 
much and grieved me greatly, — the one, for that I doubted your Majesty's 
health — the other, because for all my long tarrying I went without that I 
came for. Of the first, I am relieved in a part, both that I understood of 
your health, and also that your Majesty's lodging is not far from my lord 
marquis* chamber.^ Of my other grief I am not eased, but the best is, that 
whatsoever other folks will suspect, I intend not to fear your Grace's good 
will, which as I know that I never deserved to forfeit, so I trust will still 
stick by me. For if your Grace's advice that I should return (whose will is 
a commandment) had not been, I would not have made the half of my way 
the end of my journey. And thus, as one desirous to hear of your Majesty's 
health, though unfortunate to see it, I shall pray God for ever to preserve 
you. — From Hatfield, this present Saturday. 

"Your Majesty's humble sister to commandment, 

" Elizabeth. 
** To the king's most excellent majesty." 

The same power that was employed to prevent the visit of 
Elizabeth to her sick, perhaps dying, brother, probably de- 
prived him of the satisfaction of receiving the letter which 
informed him that such had been her intention. It was the 
interest of those unprincipled statesmen to instil feelings of 
bitterness into the heart of the poof young king, against those, 
to whom the fond ties of natural affection had once so strongly 
united him. The tenor of Edward VI. 's will, and the testi- 

1 Harl. MSS., 6986. 

3 Katharine Parr's brother, the Marquis of Northampton, whom Edward called uncle, 
aiid whom Elizabeth held in great regard. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 53 

mony of the persons who were about him at the time of his 
death, prove, that he was at last no less estranged from Eliza- 
beth, his "sweetest sister Temperance," as he was formerly 
wont to call her, than from Mary, whose recusancy had been 
urged against her as a reasonable ground for exclusion from 
the throne. Both were alike excluded from their natural places 
in the succession, and deprived of the benefit of their father's 
nomination in the act for settling the royal succession in the 
year 1544, and subsequently in his will — Mary, first, because 
of her papistry, and secondly, because she had been declared 
illegitimate. The reproach of papistry could not, with any 
consistency, be objected to Elizabeth ; for, had not the Lady 
Jane Gray herself, the innocent rival to her title, declared that 
" the Lady Elizabeth was a follower of God's word ? " ^ And 
as to the second objection of their declaring Mary illegitimate, 
the direct contrary would have been the result, for the establish- 
ment of the legitimacy of either of these sisters, no matter 
which, must infallibly have stigmatized the birth of the other. 
The next objection to Mary and Elizabeth, was, that being 
only sisters to Edward by the half blood, they could not be his 
lawful heirs ; but this was indeed a fallacy, for their title was 
derived from the same royal father, from whom Edward inherited 
the throne, and would in no respect have been strengthened 
by the comparatively mean blood of Jane Seymour, even if 
they had been her daughters by the late king. The third 
reason given for the exclusion of Edward's sisters was, that 
they might marry foreign princes, and thus be the means of 
bringing papistry into England again, which Lady Jane Gray 
could not do, as she was already married to the son of the 
Duke of Northumberland. 

Latimer preached in favour of the exclusion of Elizabeth as 
well as Mary, declaring that it was better that God should take 
away the ladies Mary and Elizabeth, than that, by marrying 
foreign princes, they should endanger the existence of the 
Reformed Church. Ridley set forth the same doctrine, 
although it was well known that Elizabeth had rejected the 
offer of one foreign prince, and had evinced a disinclination to 
marriage altogether. Nothing, therefore, could be more unfair 
than rejecting her, for fear of a contingency that never might, 
and in fact never did, happen. 

The name of conscience was, however, the watchword under 
which Northumberland and his accomplices had carried their 
point with their pious young so'' ^ey induced him 

^ Aylmer's Harbou 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

54 Elizabeth 

to set aside the rightful heirs, and bequeath the crown to Lady 
Jane Gray. 

Elizabeth kept her state at Hatfield House during the last 
few months of Edward's reign. The expenses of her house* 
hold amounted to an average of 3938/. according to one of her 
household books, from October ist, 5th of Edward VI., to the 
last day of September in the 6th year of that prince, in the 
possession of Lord Strangford. It is entitled, " The Account 
of Thomas Parry, Esq., Cofferer to the Right Excellent 
Princess the Lady Elizabeth, her Grace, the King's Majesty's 
Most Honourable Sister." The above was the style and title 
used by Elizabeth during her royal brother's reign. Every page 
of the book is signed at the bottom by her own hand. Her 
cellar appears to have been well stocked with beer, sweet wine, 
Rhenish and Gascoigne wines. Lamprey pies are once 
entered as a present The wages of her household servants 
for a quarter of a year amounted to 82/. i js. Sd, The liveries 
of velvet coats for thirteen gentlemen, at forty shillings the coat, 
amounted to twenty-six pounds ; the liveries of her yeomen to 
78/. 18^. She paid for the making of her turnspits' coats nine 
shillings and two-pence. Given in alms, at sundry times, to 
poor men and women, 7/. 1 55. Sd. 

Among the entries for the chamber and robes, are the 
following : — 

" Paid to John Spithoniiis, the 17th of May, for books, and to Mr. Alien 
for a Bible, 27X. 4^. Paid to Edmund Alien for a Bible, 20s, Third of 
November, to the keeper of Hertford Jail for fees of John WingBeld, being 
in ward, ly. 4^. Paid 14th of December, to Blanche Piury for her half- 
year's annuity, i0Of.,and to Blanche Courtnaye forUie like, 66s. 8^ Paid 
December 14th, at the christening of Mr. Pendred's child, as by warrant 
doth appear, is. Paid in reward unto sundry persons at St. James's— her 
Grace then being there — ^viz. the king^s footmen, 11^. ; the under-keeper of 
St. James's, los. ; the gardener, 51. ; to one Rassell, groom of the king's 
great chamber, ioj. ; to the wardrobe, lis, ; the violins^ los, ; a French- 
man that gave a book to her Grace, ioj. ; the keeper of the park-gate at 
St. James's, lOs." 

From another of Elizabeth's account books, in possession of 
Gustavus Brander, Esq., the Antiquarian Repertory quotes the 
following additional items : — 

" Two French hoods, 2/. gs. gd, Half-a-jrard and two nails of velvet, 
for partlets, i8j. gd. Paid to Edward Allen for a Bible, i/. Paid to the 
king's (Edward VI.) dfwt^r (bagpiper) and phipher- (fifer), 20s. To Mr. 
Haywood, 3( 
the parriage ( 

St. James's, _ . _ „ 

servant, for his boys that played before her Grace, iCs, In reward to cer- 

Digitized by VjOOglC 

Elizabeth 55 

tain persons, on the xoth of August, {tkis was after Marj^s aceusion,) to 
Former, who played on the lute y to Mr. Ashfield's servant, with two ^irizB 
oxen and lo muttons, 20s, more ; the harper, 30J. ; to him that made her 
Grace a table of walnut-tree, 44J. 9</. ; to Mr. Cockus' servant that brought 
her Grace a sturgeon, 6s, Sd, ; to my Lord Russell's minstrels, 20s. 
" Acconnts of Thomas Parry, cofferer of her household, till Oct 1553." ^ 

The last documentary record of Elizabeth in the reign of 
Edward VL, is a letter addressed by her to the lords of the 
council, relating to some of her landed property, concerning 
which there was a dispute between her tenant, Smith, and my 
Lord Privy Seal, the Earl of Bedford. She complains of having 
been " evilly handled " by the minister, though she denies 
taking part with Smith in the controversy against him. All she 
wishes is, she says, " to enjoy her own right in quietness." She 
requests, in conclusion, " her humble commendations to the 
king's majesty, for whose health," she says, " I pray daily and 
daily, and ever more shall so do, during my hfe. At Hatfield, 
the last day of May, 1553." 

On the morning of the 6th of July, Edward expired at 
Greenwich, but his death was kept secret for the purpose of 
securing the persons of his sisters, to both of whom deceitful 
letters were written in his name, by order of Northumberland, 
requiring them to hasten lo London to visit him in his sickness. 
The effect of this treacherous missive on Mary, her narrow 
escape and subsequent proceedings, have been related in her 
memoir in the ** Lives of the Queens of England." * Eliza- 
beth, more wary, or better informed of what was in agitation 
by some secret friend at court, supposed to be Cecil, instead 
of obeying the guileful summons, remained quietly at Hatfield 
to watch the event. This was presently certified to her by 
the arrival of commissioners firom the Duke of Northumber- 
land, who, after announcing the death of the young king, 
and his appointment of Lady Jane Gray for his successor, 
offered her a large sum of money and a considerable grant of 
lands, as the price of her acquiescence, if she would make a 
voluntary cession of her own rights in the succession, which 
she was in no condition to assert Elizabeth, with equal wis- 
dom and courage, replied, **that they must first make their 
agreement with her elder sister, during whose lifetime she had 
no claim or title, to resign." Leti assures us, that she also 
wrote a letter of indignant expostulation to Northumberland, 
on the wrong that had been done to her sister and herself, by 
proclaiming his daughter-in-law queen, A fit of sickness, real» 

1 Antiq. Rcpttrtory, voL i. p. 64. * Memeir of 


j b^ooglc 



or, as some have insinuated, feigned, preserved Elizabeth from 
the peril of taking any share in the contest for the crown. Her 
defenceless position, and her proximity to the metropolis, 
placed her in a critical predicament, and if by feigning illness 
she avoided being conducted to the Tower, by Northumber- 
land's partisans, she acted as a wise woman, seeing that discre- 
tion is the better part of valour. But, sick or well, she 
preserved her integrity, and as soon as the news of her sister's 
successes reached her, she forgot her indisposition and 
hastened to give public demonstrations of her loyalty and 
affection to her person, by going in state to meet and 
welcome her, on her triumphant progress to the metropolis. 
The general assertion of historians that Elizabeth raised a 
military force for the support of Queen Mary is erroneous ; she 
was powerless in the first instance, and the popular outburst in 
favour of Mary, rendered it needless after the first week's reign 
of the nine-days' queen was over. 

On the 29th of July, according to the Cottonian MS., quoted 
by Strype, Elizabeth came riding, from her seat in the country, 
along Fleet Street to Somerset House, which now belonged to 
her, attended by 2000 horse armed with spears, bows, and 
guns. In this retinue appeared Sir John Williams and Sir John 
Bridges, and her chamberlain, all being dressed in green, but 
their coats were faced with velvet, satin, taffeta, silk, or cloth, 
according to their quality. This retinue of Elizabeth assumed 
a less warlike character on the morrow, when it appears that 
Mary had disbanded her armed militia. When Elizabeth rode 
through Aldgate next day, on her road to meet her sister, she 
was accompanied by a thousand persons on horseback, a great 
number of whom were ladies of rank.^ The royal sisters met 
at Wanstead, where Elizabeth and her train paid their first 
homage to Queen Mary, who received them very graciously, 
and kissed every lady presented by Elizabeth. 

On the occasion of Mary's triumphant entrance into London, 
the royal sisters rode side by side, in the grand equestrian pro- 
cession. The youthful charms of Elizabeth, then in her twentieth 
year, the majestic grace of her tall and finely-proportioned figure, 
attracted every eye, and formed a contrast disadvantageous 
to Mary, who was nearly double her age, small in person, and 
faded prematurely by early sorrow, sickness, and anxiety.* The 

I Stowe says, Elizabeth was accompanied by zooo horse, consisting of knights, ladies, 
gentlemen, and their servants. Lingard reduces this number to z^ persons, but the 
people of LcHidon then, as now, doubtless poured forth in mass, to hail tae approaching 

S Turner ; Lingard ; Michele. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 57 

pride and reserve of Mary's character, would not allow her to 
condescend to the practice of any of those arts of courting 
popularity, in which Elizabeth, who rendered everything sub- 
servient to the master-passion of her soul, ambition, was a 
practised adept In every look, word, and action, Elizabeth 
studied effect, and on this occasion it was noticed that she took 
every opportunity of displaying the beauty of her hand, of 
which she was not a little vain.^ 

Within one little month after their public entrance into 
London, the evil spirits of the times had succeeded in rekind- 
ling the sparks of jealousy between the Catholic queen and the 
Protestant heiress of the throne. That Mary, after all the 
mortifications that had been inflicted upon her at Elizabeth's 
birth, had had the magnanimity to regard her with sisterly 
feelings, is a fact, that renders the divisions, that were effected 
between them, the more deeply to be regretted. 

When Mary, who had never dissembled her religious 
opinions, made known her intention of restoring the mass and 
all the ancient ceremonials, that had been abolished by King 
Edward's council, the Protestants naturally took the alarm. 
Symptoms of disaffection towards their new sovereign betrayed 
themselves, in the enthusiastic regard which they lavished on 
Elizabeth, who became the beacon of hope, to which the 
champions of the Reformation turned, as the horizon darkened 
around them. But it was not only on those, to whom a sym- 
pathy in religious opinions endeared her, that Elizabeth had 
succeeded. in making a favourable impression, for she was 
already so completely established as the darling of the people 
of England, that Pope Julius III., in one of his letters, adverting 
to the report made by his envoy, Commendone, on the state of 
Queen Mary's government, says, " that heretic and schismatic 
sister, formerly substituted for her (Queen Mary) in the 
succession by their father, is in the heart and mouth of every 
one." 2 

The refusal of Elizabeth to attend mass, while it excited the 
most lively feelings of admiration, for her sincerity and courage 
among the Protestants, gave great offence to the queen and her 
council, and the princess was sternly enjoined to conform to 
the Cadiolic rites. Elizabeth was resolute in her refusal ; she 
even declined, under pretext of indisposition, being present at 
the ceremonial of making her kinsman Courtenay an earl. 
This was construed into disrespect for the queen. Some of the 

1 Report of Michele, the Venetian ambaasador. 

s Letters of Pope Jidius IIL p. xxs. Sharon Turner. 

Digitized by VjOOg IC 

58 Elizabeth 

more headlong zealots, by whom Mary was surrounded, recom- 
mended that she should be put under arrest^ Mary refused 
to consent to a measure at once unpopular and unjustifiable, 
but endeavoured, by alternate threats, persuasions, and 
promises, to prevail on her sister to accompany her to the 
chapel-royaL^ The progress of the contest between the queen 
and her sister, on this case of conscience, is thus detailed by the 
French ambassador, Noailles, in a letter dated September 6th : 
" Elizabeth ¥rill not hear mass, nor accompany her sister to 
the chapel, whatever remonstrance, either the queen or the 
lords on her side, have been able to make to her on the 
subject It is feared, that she is counselled in her obstinacy 
by some of the magnates, who are disposed to stir up fresh 
troubles. Last Saturday and Sunday,'' continues he, "the 
queen caused her to be preached to, and entreated by all 
the great men of the council, one after the other, but their 
importunity only elicited from her, at last, a very rude reply." • 
The queen was greatly annoyed by the firmness of Elizabeth, 
which promised to prove a serious obstacle to the restoration 
of papacy in EngUmd. The faction, that had attempted to 
sacrifice the rights of both the dau^ters of Henry VIIl. by 
proclaimii^ Lady Jane Gray queen, gathered hopes from the 
dissension between the royal sisters. Elizabeth, however, who 
had no intention of unsettling the recently established govern- 
ment of the sickly sovereign, to whom she was heir presump- 
tive, when she found that it was suspected that her nonconformity 
proceeded from disaffection, demanded an audience with 
Queen Mary, and throwii^ herself on her knees before her, 
she told her, weeping at the same time, " that she saw plainly 
how little affection her Majesty appeared to have for her, and 
that she knew she had done nothing to ofifend her, except in 
the article of religion, in which she was excusable, having been 
brought up in the creed she at present professed, without 
having ever heard any doctor, who could have instructed her 
in the other. She entreated the queen, therefore, to let her 
have some books, explanatory of doctrine, contrary to that set 
forth in the Protestant books she had hitherto read, and she 
would commence a course of study, from works composed 
expressly in defence of the Catholic creed, which, perhaps, 
might l^id her to adopt other sentiments. She also requested 
to have some learned man appointed for her instructor.^ " 

1 Lingard ; Noailles ; Turner. 8 Ibid. 

* Depecbes du Noailles, 147. 

A lUnaud k TEmp^ Chvl«a V. Griffet, p. 106, 7. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 59 

The queen received these overtures in a coiiciUatory spirit, 
and EMzaheth appeared with her at the celebration of mass, 
on the 8th of September, a festival, by which the Church of 
Rome commemorates the nativity of the blessed Virgin. 
Griffet affirms, that Elizabeth did this with a bad grace, and 
gave evident tokens of repugnance, but she voluntarily wrote 
to the Emperor Charles V., requesting him to send a cross, 
chalices, and other ecclesiastical ornaments for a chapel, 
" which she intended," she said, " to open in her own house." ^ 
By these condescensions to expediency, Elizabeth succeeded 
for a time in maintaining her footing at court, and securing her 
proper place in the approaching ceremonial of the coronation, 
as next in rank to her sister the queen. In the splendid 
pageant of the royal cavalcade from the Tower to Westminster, 
on the preceding day, Elizabeth wore a French dress of white 
and silver tissue, and was seated with Anne of Cleves, her 
sometime stepmother, in a chariot drawn by six horses, trapped 
also with white and silver, which followed inwnediately after 
the gold-canopied litter in which the sovereign was borne.* 

At the coronation, Elizabeth was ag^un paired with the 
Lady Anne of Cleves, who had precedency over every other 
lady in the court. These two princesses, alSo, dined at the 
same table with the queen at the banquet, an honour which 
was not vouchsafed to any other person there.* 

During all the festivities and royal pageants that succeeded 
the coronation, Mary gave public testimonials of respect and 
sisterly regard for Elizabeth, by holding her by the hand,* and 
placing her next to herself at table. This Noailles notices that 
she did in particular at the great banquet given to the Spanish 
ambassador and his suite. Elizabeth was also prayed for, as 
the queen's sister, by Dr. Harpsfield, at the opening of the 
convocation at Westminster, immediately after the coronation. 
Strype,* who honestly narrates the fact, complains that nothing 
was added in her commendation ; but this, as she was opposed 
to the doctrines of the Church of Rome, was scarcely to 
be expected from their divines, neither were the deceitful 
terms of flattery, which were conventionally used towards the 
members of the royal family, of such importance to Elizabeth, 
as her public recognition, by her sister's hierarchy and divines, 
as the heiress presumptive to the throne. This was of the 
greater moment to Elizabeth, because, by the act which passed 

1 Griffet; Linrard; Tytler. * Stowe. 

• Noailles. _ . * Sharon Turner ; Noailles. 

» Strype's Memorials, vol "" " ''^lon. 



6o Elizabeth 

immediately after the meeting of Mary's first parliament, con- 
firming the marriage of Henry VIII. and Katharine of Arragon, 
and establishing the legitimacy of the queen, the subsequent 
marriage of Henry with Anne Boleyn was rendered null and 
void,^ and the birth of Elizabeth, illegitimate in point of law, 
although, from motives of delicacy, as well as sound policy, it 
was not declared so. Elizabeth was the darling of the people, 
and as long as her reversionary claims to the regal succession 
were recognized by the reigning sovereign, she stood beside 
the throne, as a check to the plots of the aspiring house of 
Suffolk, on the one hand, and the designs of the French party 
on the other. Lady Jane Gray was still living and unforgotten, 
and Henry II. of France treated his daughter-in-law, the young 
Queen of Scots, as the rightful sovereign of England, on the 
plea- that neither of the daughters of Henry VIII. were 
legitimate. Their father had stigmatized the birth of both 
Mary and Elizabeth, and the subservient parliament of June, 
1 536, -had, in obedience to his unjust intention of preferring 
any future daughters, that might be born to him by Jane 
Seymour or her successors, to the issue of Katharine of 
Arragon and Anne Boleyn, formally declared the royal sisters 
illegitimate, and incapable of succeeding to the throne. 

The act for settling the succession in 1545, and the will of 
Henry VIII., had indeed taken away the latter clause, but 
the declaration of illegitimacy remained unrepealed, and had 
been further insisted upon in the will of the late King Edward 
VI., by the exclusion of both princesses, in favour of the 
grand-daughter of the youngest sister of Henry VIII. The 
experiment of placing a juvenile scion, from a collateral branch 
of the royal family on the throne, had been displeasing to the 
nation in general; not only Catholics, but Protestants had 
united, in opposing so flagrant a violation of the old-established 
laws of the regal succession in England. The miseries caused 
by the Wars of the Roses, had proved a salutary lesson, on the 
danger of permitting a temporary alienation of the crown firom 
the direct line of primogeniture ; and a mighty majority of the 
people had vested the sovereignty in the person of Mary Tudor, 
according to the letter of her father's will, the conditions of 
which she never violated with regard to Elizabeth's reversionary 
claim to the succession. So far, the interests of Elizabeth were 
united with those of her sister, but when the act which estab- 
lished the legitimacy of the queen passed, she and her friends 

^ Journals of Parliament, zst of Queen Mary. 

Digitized by VjOOg IC 

Elizabeth 6i 

took umbrage, because it tacitly implied the fact that she was 
not bora in lawful wedlock. 

If Elizabeth had acted with the profound policy which 
marked her subsequent conduct, she would not have called 
attention to this delicate point, by evincing her displeasure^ 
but her pride was piqued, and she demanded permission to 
withdraw from coiut.^ It was refused, and a temporary 
estrangement took place between her and the queen. Noailles, 
the French ambassador, whose business it was to pave the way 
for the succession of the young Queen of Scots to the throne 
of England, by the destruction of the present heiress pre- 
sumptive, fomented the differences between the royal sisters 
with fiend-like subtlety and satisfaction. ^ 

Henry II. made the most liberal offers of money and advice ta 
Elizabeth while, in fancy, he exulted in the idea of her disgrace 
and death, and the recognition of his royal daughter-in-law as 
the future sovereign of the Britannic Isles, from sea to sea^ 
under the matrimonial dominion of his eldest son. The 
brilliancy of such a prospect rendered the French monarch and 
his ministers reckless of the restraints of honour, conscience^ 
or humanity, which might tend to impede its realization, and 
Elizabeth was marked out, first as their puppet, and finally, 
as the victim of a plot, which might possibly end in the 
destruction not only of one sister, but both. 

The Protestant party, alarmed at the zeal of Queen Mary 
for the re-establishment of the old Catholic institutions, and 
detesting the idea of her Spanish marriage, were easily excited 
to enter into any project for averting the evils they foresaw. 
A plot was devised for raising the standard of revolt, against 
Queen Mary's government, in the joint names of the Princess 
Elizabeth and Courtenay Earl of Devonshire, to whom they 
proposed to unite her in marriage. That Courtenay, who had 
been piqued at Mary's declining to accept him for her husband,, 
entered into a confederacy, which promised him a younger and 
more attractive royal bride, with the prospect of a crown for her 
dowry, there is no doubt ; though, the romantic tales in which 
some modern historians have indulged, touching his passion 
for Elizabeth, are somewhat apocryphal. The assertion that 
he refused the proffered hand of Mary, on account of his 
disinterested preference for Elizabeth, is decidedly untrue. It 
was not till convinced of the hopelessness of his suit to the 
queen, that he allowed himself to be implicated in a political 

1 Noailles ; Turner ; Lingard * Depcches dc Noailles. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

62 Elizabeth 

engagement to marry Elizabeth, who, if consenting to the 
scheme, appears to have been wholly a passive agent, cautiously 
avoiding any personal participation in the confederacy, till she 
saw how it was likely to end. It is therefore difficult to say 
how far her heart was touched by the external graces of her 
handsome but weak-minded kinsman.^ 

The difficulties of her position at this crisis were extreme ; 
distrusted by the queen, watched and calumniated by the 
Spanish ambassador, Renaud, assailed by the misjudging 
enthusiasm of the Protestant party, with spiritual adulation, 
and entreated to stand forth as the heroine of their cause, and 
tempted by the persuasions and treacherous promises of the 
subtle Noailles, it required caution and strength of mind 
seldom to be found in a girl of twenty, not to fall into some 
of the snares which so thickly beset her path.^ Noailles made 
his house a rendezvous for the discontented Protestants and 
the disaffected of every description. Midnight conferences 
were held there, at which Courtenay was a prominent person, 
though the pusillanimity of his character rendered it difficult 
to stir him up to anything like open enterprise. Noailles 
informed his court "that though Elizabeth and Courtenay were 
proper instruments, for the purpose of exciting a popular rising, 
Courtenay wac so timorous that he would suffer himself to be 
taken before he would act." The event proved the accuracy 
of this judgment. By the dint, however, of great nursing, the 
infant conspiracy began to assume a more decided form, and 
as Elizabeth could not be induced to unite herself openly with 
the confederates, Noailles affirms " that they intended to 
surprise and carry her away, to marry her to Courtenay, and 
conduct them into Devonshire and Cornwall, where Courtenay 
had powerful friends." They imagined that a general rising 
would take place in their favour, in the west of England, with 
a simultaneous revolt of the Suffolk faction in the east and 
other parts, where they greatly miscalculated the popular feeling 
against the queen.^ 

Elizabeth, meantime, perceiving the perils that beset her, on 
the one hand, from the fol]y of her injudicious friends, and, 
on the other, from the malignity of her foes, and alarmed at 
the altered manner of the queen towards her, reiterated her 

1 Leti has inflerfad in his Historv of Ellzsbetli, sevemi kȴe letters, which he declares 
passed between that princess and Courtenay, but even if he hsA reference to the original 
documents, he has^ according to his usual custom, rendered tnem into a phraseology^so 
modem and suspicions, as to create doubts of their authenticity. 

9 Noailles' Despatches ; GrifTet ; Lingard ; Turner. 

I Noailles, xz, 946, 954-56. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 63 

entreaties to be permitted to retire to one of her houses in the 
country. The leave was granted, smd the day for her departure 
actually fixed, but the representations of the Spanish minister, 
"that she was deeply engaged in plots against her Majesty's 
government, and that she only wished to escape from observa- 
tion by withdrawing herself into the country, in order to have 
the better opportunity of carrying on her intrigues with the 
disaffected," ^ caused Queen Mary to forbid her to quit the 
palace. So much incensed was the queen, at the reports that 
were daily brought to her, of the disloyalty of Elizabeth, that 
she would not admit her to her presence, and inflicted upon 
her the severe mortification of allowing the Countess of Lenox 
and the Duchess of Suffolk to take precedency of her. Elizabeth 
then absented herself from the chapel-royal, and confined 
herself to her own chamber ; on which, the queen forbade any 
of her ladies to visit her there without special permission. 

So considerable, however, was the influence Elizabeth had 
already acquired among the female aristocracy of England, and 
so powerful was the sympathy excited for her at this period, 
that, in defiance of the royal mandate, all the young gentle- 
women of the court visited her daily, and all day long in her 
chamber, and united in manifesting the most ardent sdfection 
for her.* Elizabeth received these flattering tokens of regard 
with answering warmth, in the vain hope that the strength of 
her party would place her on a more independent footing, but 
of course it only rendered her case worse, by exciting jealousy 
and provoking anger. She was sedulously watched by the 
council, spies in her own household made almost hourly 
reports of all her movements, and every visit she received. By 
one of these traitors information was conveyed to Mary's 
ministers, that a refugee French preacher had secret interviews 
with her ; on which the Spanish ambassador advised, that she 
should be sent to the Tower, Renaud also charged Noailles, 
the Frendh ambassador, with holding private noctum^yi con- 
ferences with the princess in her own chamber; this, Noailles 
angrily denied, and a violent altercation took place between 
the two diplomatists on the subject. Two of the queen's 
ministers, Paget and Arundel, then waited on Elizabeth, and 
informed her of the accusation. She found no difficulty in 
disproving a charge of which she was really innocent, and with 
some emotion expressed her gratitude "for not having been 
condemned unheard," and entreated them "never to give 

1 Noailles; Lingard; Turner. S.Ntnilies. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 



credit to the calumnies that might hereafter be circulated 
against her, without allowing her an opportunity of justifying 

The queen, after this explanation, as a pledge of her recon- 
ciliation with Elizabeth, presented her with a double set of 
large and valuable pearls, and having granted her permission 
to retire into the country, dismissed her with tokens of respect 
and affection.2 

It was in the beginning of December, that Elizabeth obtained 
the long-delayed leave from her royal sister to retire to her 
own house at Ashridge, in Buckinghamshire ; but even there 
a jealous watch was kept on all her movements, and those of 
her servants. Never had captive bird panted more to burst 
from the thraldom of a cage, than she to escape from the 
painful restraints and restless intrigues of the court, where she 
was one day threatened with a prison, and the next flattered 
with the prospect of a crown ; * but the repose for which she 
sighed was far remote. Instead of enjoying the peaceful 
pursuits of learning, or sylvan sports, in her country abode, 
she was harassed with a matrimonial proposal, which had been 
suggested to Mary by the Spanish cabinet, in behalf of the 
Prince of Piedmont;^ it not being considered expedient for 
the queen to solemnize her unpopular nuptials with Philip of 
Spain, till Elizabeth was wedded to a foreign husband. 

Elizabeth resolutely refused to listen to the pretensions of 
the Prince of Piedmont, and she also declined the overtures, 
that were privately renewed to her by the King of Denmark, 
in favour of his son, whom she had refused during her brother's 
reign. In all the trials, mortifications, and perplexities which 
surrounded her, she kept her eye steadily fixed on the bright 
reversion of the crown of England, and positively refused to 
marry out of the realm, even when the only alternative appeared 
to be a foreign husband or a scaffold. 

The sarcastic proverb, " defend me from my friends, and I 
will take care of my foes," was never more fully exemplified 
than in the case of Elizabeth, during the first year of her 
sister's reign, for an army of declared enemies would have been 
less perilous to her than the insidious caresses of the King of 
France, and his ambassador. Henry wrote to her letters, with 
unbounded offers of assistance and protection ; and he advanced 
just enough money to the conspirators, to involve them in the 

i Noailles. > Lingard. > Ibid. 

* Philibert Emanuel, heir of the Dukedom of Savoy. He was cousin-german to 
Philip of Spain, and his dearest friend. He was the son of the sister of the Empress 
Isabel, wife to Charles V.—Brantome. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 65 

odium of receiving bribes from France, without bearing the 
slightest proportion to their wants. He endeavoured to 
persuade Elizabeth to take refuge in his dominions; but if 
she had fallen into such a snare, she would have found herself 
in much the same situation as Mary Queen of Scots was, when 
she sought an asylum in her realm. The only result of this 
correspondence was, that it involved Elizabeth in the greatest 
peril, when letters in cipher, supposed to be from her in reply 
to Henry, were intercepted. 

On the 2 1 St of January, 1553-4, Gardiner drew from the 
weak or treacherous Courtenay the secrets of the confederacy, 
of which he was to have been the leader and the hero. The 
conspirators on the following day learned that they had been 
betrayed, and found themselves under the fatal necessity of 
anticipating their plans by taking up arms.^ 

Wyat immediately sent to Elizabeth an earnest recommend- 
ation to retire from the vicinity of the metropolis. Young 
Russell, the son of the Earl of Bedford, who \eas a secret 
member of the confederacy, was the bearer of the letter, and it 
seems, that he was the agent, through whom all communica- 
tions between Wyat and her were carried on.* Sir James 
Crofts also saw and urged her to adopt this plan. Elizabeth 
perceived her peril, and determined not to take any step, that 
might be construed into an overt act of treason. She knew 
the weak and unsteady elements of which the confederacy was 
composed. Courtenay had proved a broken reed ; and of all 
people in the world, she had the least reason to place confidence 
in either the wisdom, the firmness, or the integrity of the Duke 
of Suffolk, who would, of course, if successful, endeavour to 
replace his daughter, Lady Jane Gray, on the throne. Com- 
mon sense must have convinced Elizabeth, that he could have 
no other motive for his participation in the revolt. It was prob- 
ably her very apprehension of such a result, that led this sus- 
picious princess into an incipient acquiescence in the conspiracy, 
that she might obtain positive information as to the real nature 
of their projects, so that if she found them hostile to her own 
interests, the power of denouncing the whole affair to the queen 
would be in her own hands. Under any circumstances, Eliza- 
beth would have found a straightforward path the safest. 
Letters addressed to her by the French ambassador, and also 
by Wyat, were intercepted by Queen Mary's ministers. 

1 Tytler; Lingard. » Ibid. 


Digitized by VjOOg iC 

66 Elizabeth 

Russell wasr placed under arrest, and confessed that ha had 
been the medium of a secret correspondence, with the leaders 
of the confederacy and Elizabeth.^ Wyat unfurled the standard 
of revolt on the 25th of January, and the queen sent her royal 
mandate to Elizabeth on the 26th, enjoining her immediate 
return to court, " where,'* however^ she assured her, ** she would 
be heartily^ welcome."^ Elizabeth mistrusted the invitation, 
and took to her bed ; sending a verbal message to the queen 
" that she was too ill at present to travel, that as soon as she 
was able, she would come^ and prayed her Majesty's forbearance 
for a. few days-" 

After the lapse of several days, the officers of EUz^eth's 
household addressed a letter to her Majesty's council, to explain 
^' that increased indisposition, on the part of their mistress, was. 
the sole cause that prevented her from repairing to the queen's 
highness, and though they continued in hope of her amend- 
ment, they saw no appearance of it^ and therefore they consi- 
dered it their duty, considering the perilous attempts of the 
rebels, to apprise their lordships of her state." * 

Mary received this excuse, and waited for the coming of 
Elizabeth till the loth of February. During that eventful 
fortnight a formidable insurrection had broken out, of which 
the ostensible object was the dethronement of the queen, and 
the elevation of Elizabeth to the regal office. The French and 
Venetian ambassadors had both intrigued with the disaffected, 
and supplied them with money and arms. Mary had been 
attacked in her own palace by Wyat's army of insurgents ; she 
had quelled the insurrection, and proceeded to measures of 
great severity, to deter her factious subjects from further 
attempts to disturb the public peace. Terror was stricken intp 
every heart when it was known that a warrant was issued for the 
i mmediate exec«tionx>f Lady Jane Gray and her husband. Wyat,, 
and others of the confederates, with the view of escaping the 
penalty of their own rash attempts, basely denounced Elizabeth 
and Courtenay as the exciters of the treasonable designs that had 
deluged the metropolis with blood, and shaken the throne of 
Mary. Elizabeth had fortified her house meantime, and intro- 
duced an armed force within her walls, probably for a defence, 
against the partisans of Lady Jane Gray, but, of course, her 
enemies and the Spanish party insisted that it was intended as 

I Griffet ; Tytler. 

8 Strype. — See the Memoir of Queen Mary (S.X 

S Strype's Memorials, Bed. iii. 83. From Petyt MS. 


by Google 

Elizabeth 67 

a defiance t& the rOjuU: authority^ The queen, who had evety 
reason to disttust her loyahjr, then despatched Lord William 
Howard, Sir Edward Hastings, and Sir Thomas Comwidlis, to 
bring her to conrt.^ With these gentlemen she sent her own 
physicians, Dr. Owen and Dr. Wendy, to ascertain whether 
Elizabeth were really able to bear the journey. Now, Dr. 
Wendy, to his honour be it remembered, was instrtimentai in 
the preservation of Queen Katharine Paries life, by the prudent 
counsel he gave her at the time of her extreme peril, and also, 
as it has been supposed, by acting as a mediator between her 
and King Henry.* He had known Elizabeth from her child- 
hood, and his appearance would rather have had the effect of 
inspiring her with hope and confidence, than terror. Be that 
as it may, he and his coadjutor decided, that she might be 
removed without peril of her life. The three commissioners 
then required an audience of the princess, who, guessing their 
errand, no doubt, refused to see them, and when they entered 
the chamber, it being then past ten o'clock at night, she said, 
** Is the haste such, that it might not have pleased you to come 
in the morning ? " They made answer, " that they were sorry 
to see her Grace in such a case.*' 

** And I," replied she, "am not glad to see you at this time 
of night!" 

This little dialogue, which rests on tfhe authority of Holinsfhed, 
is characteristic, and likely enough to have taken place, although 
it is not mentioned in the following letter of the commissioners 
to the queen. We are, however, to bear in mind, that Eliza- 
beth's great uncle. Lord William Howard, who appears to have 
been the leading man on the occasion, would scarcely have 
related any speech on the part of his young kinswoman, likely 
to have been construed by the queen and her council, into an 
act of contumacy. On the contrary, he describes Elizaibetb as 
using the most dutiful and compliant expressions, only fearful 
of encountering the fatigue of a journey in her weak state ; any 
one, from his report, would imagine her to be the meekest and 
gentlest of all invalids. 

1 That accurate historian. Patrick Fraser Tytler, Esq., has, with preat clearness, traced 
the discrepancies of Fox, when tested with the authentic State Paper Records of that 
memorahle passage in the early life of our great Elizabeth. Aft«r carefixlly exanilning 
and collating all contemporary authorities on the subject, it is impossible not to ooincide 
with the view Mr. Tytler has taken from the evidence of dates and documents. The 
statement of Fox, that Mary gave a peremptory commission to three of the members of 
her council, " to repair to Ashridge and bring the Lady Elizabeth to court, quick or 
dead;* as asstorted in that author's romantic biqpraphy of. Elixal^clhy in the AppnMx of 
ids Martyrology, b a distorted version of the facts, of which a plain narrative is given in 
Uiese pagjea. S«b also Tytler's Edward and Mary, v<d. iL 

a See the life of Queen Katharine Parr (S.>. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 


68 Elizabeth 

Thb Lord Admiral, (Lord W. Howard,) Sir Edward Hastings, 
AND Sir Thomas Cornwallis, to thb Quern.* 

"In our humble wise. It may please your Highness to be advertised 
that yesterday, immediately upon our arrival at Ashridge, we required to have 
access unto my Lady Elizabeth's grace, which obtained, we delivered unto 
her your Highness's letter ; and I, the lord admiral, declared the effect of 
your Highness's pleasure, according to the credence given to us, being 
before advertised of her state by your Highnes^s physicians, by whom we 
did perceive the state of her body to be such, that, without danger to her 
person, we might well proceed to require her, in your Majesty's name, (all 
excuses set apart), to repair to your Highness, with all convenient speed 
and diligence. 

" Whereunto we found her Grace very willing and conformable, save 
only ' that she much feared her weakness to be so great ' that she should 
not be able to travel, and to endure the journey without peril of life, and 
therefore desired some longer respite until she had better recovered her 
strength ; but in conclusion, upon the persuasion, as much of us, as of her 
own council and servants, (whom we assure your Highness we have found 
very ready and forward to the accomplishment of your Highness's pleasure, 
in this behalf,) she is resolved to remove hence to-morrow towards your 
Highness with such joumies as by a paper, herein enclosed, your Highness 
shall perceive ; further declaring to your Highness, that her Grace much 
desireth, if it might stand with, your Highness's pleasure, that she may have 
a lodging, at her coming to court, somewhat further from the water (the 
Thames) than she had at her last being there ; which your physicians, 
considering the state of her body, thinketh very meet, who have travailed 
(taken great pains) very earnestly with her Grace both before our coming^ 
and after, in this matter. 

'* And after her first day's journey, one of us shall await upon your 
Highness, to declare more at large, the whole state of our proceedings here. 
And even so, we shall most humbly beseech Christ long to preserve your 
Highness in honour, health, and the contentation of your godly heart's 

'*From Ashridge, the lith of February, at four of the clock in the 

*' Your Highness's most humble and bounden servants and subjects, 

" W. Howard, Edward Hastings, T. Cornwaleys." 

The paper enclosed, sketching the plan of their progress to 
London, a document of no slight importance, considering the 
falsified statement which has been embodied in history, is as 
follows : — 

* ' The order of my Lady Elizabeth's grace's voyage to the court. 

" Monday. — Imprimis to Mr. Cooke's, vi miles. 

"Tuesday. — Item, to Mr. Pope's, viii miles. 

" Wednesday. — To Mr. Stamford's, vii miles. 

" Thursday. — To Highgate, Mr. Cholmeley's house, vii miles. 

" Friday.— To Westminster, v miles." 

I State Papen, Feb. xx, 1553-4- Edited by P. F. Tytler, Esq. Edwaid and Mary, 
voL ii. p. 496. 

> This sentence leads to the conclusion that Dr. Wendy and Dr. Owen had been at 
Ashridge in attendance on Elizabeth since her fir«l summons to court 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 69 

Such is the official report of Elizabeth's maternal kinsmian, 
Lord William Howard, attested by the signatures of two other 
noble gentlemen. Motives of worldly interest, to say nothing 
of the ties of nature, would have inclined Lord William 
Howard to cherish and support, as far as he could with safety 
to himself, an heiress presumptive to the crown, so nearly 
connected in blood with his own illustrious house. He was 
the brother of her grandmother, Lady Elizabeth Howard, and 
in the probable event of Queen Mary's death without issue, it 
was only reasonable for this veteran statesman to calculate on 
directing the councils of his youthful niece, and exercising the 
executive power of the Crown. He was a man whom Elizabeth 
both loved and honoured, and she testified her grateful 
remembrance of his kindness after her accession to the 
crown. If Mary had intended Elizabeth to be treated as 
barbarously as Fox has represented, she would have selected 
some other agent for the minister of her cruelty. 

The letter of the commissioners to the queen is dated 
February nth, which was Sunday; contrary to the assertions 
of Fox and Holinshed, they remained at Ashridge the whole 
of that day and night, and it was not till Monday morning, 
the 1 2th, that they proceeded to remove Elizabeth. It was the 
day appointed for the execution of the Lady Jane Gray and 
Lord Guildford Dudley, and even the strong mind and lion- 
like spirit of Elizabeth must have quailed, at the appalling 
nature of her own summons to the metropolis, and the idea of 
commencing her journey in so ominous an hour. Thrice she 
was near fainting as she was led between two of her escort, to 
the royal litter, which the queen had sent for her accommoda- 
tion. ^ Her bodily weakness, or some other cause, appears to 
have caused a deviation from the original programme of the 
journey, for the places where she halted were not the same as 
those specified by the commissioners in their letter to the 
queen. She reached Redbum in a feeble condition the first 
night. On the second, she rested at Sir Ralph Rowlet's house, 
at St. Alban's ; on the third, at Mr. Dod's, at Mimmes ; on 
the fourth, at Highgate, where she remained at Mr. Cholmeley's 
house a night and day, according to Holinshed, but most 
probably it was longer, as she did not enter London till the 
23rd of February; and Noailles, in a letter, dated the 21st, 
makes the following report of her condition to his own 
court : — 

"While the city is covered with gibbets, and the public 

1 Holinshed. ^ I 

Digitized by VjOOg IC 


70 Elizabeth 

buildings crowded with the heads of the bravest men in the 
4cingdom, (w^^ by the bye^ had given but an indifferent sample 
of their valour) the Princess Elizabeth, for whom no better 
fate is foreseen, is lying ill, about seven or eight miles from 
hence, so swollen and disfigured that her death is expected." * 
He expresses doubts " whether she would reach London alive." 
Notwithstanding this piteous description of her sufferings and 
prospects, his excellency in another place calls the indisposition 
of Elizabeth "a favourable illness,^' and this phrase has led 
some persons into the notion that her sickness was feigned for 
the purpose of exciting popular sympathy, but he certainly 
means merely to intimate, that it occurred at a seasonable time 
for her, and was probably the means of saving her from tiie 
same punishment that had just been inflicted on her youthful 
kinswoman. Lady Jane Gray. That Elizabeth was sufifering 
severely, both in mind and body, at this terrific crisis, there 
can be no doubt, and if she made the most of her illness to 
gain time, and delay her approach to the dreaded scene of 
blood and horror, which the metropolis presented, in conse- 
quence of the recent executions, no one can blame her. But 
when the moment came for her public entrance into London 
as a prisoner of state, her firmness returned, and the spirit of the 
royal heroine triumphed over the weakness of the invalid and 
the terrors of the woman. Her deportment on that occasion 
is thus finely described by an eye-witness who thirsted foa: her 
blood — Simon Renaud, the Spanish ambassador, in a letter to 
her great enemy, the Emperor Charles Vth, dated February 
«4th, 1554. 

**The Lady EHzabeth,*' says he, "arrived here yesterday, 
dressed all in white, surrounded with a great company of the 
queen's people, besides her own attendants. She made them 
uncover the litter in which she rode, that she might be seen 
by the people. Her countenance was pale and stern, her mien 
proud, lofty, and disdainful, by which she endeavoured to 
conceal her trouble." 

A hundred gentlemen in velvet coats formed a sort of guard 
of honour for Elizabeth on this occasion, next her person, and 
they were followed by a hundred more " in coats of fine red 
cloth guarded with black velvet ; *' * this was probably the royal 
livery. The road on both sides the way, from Highgate to 
London, was thronged with gazing crowds, some of whom wept 

1 Elisabeth's illneM appears to have been an attadc of dropsy, from her swollen and 
pallid appearance. 
« MS. Cotton. Vitell. f. 5. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 71 

and bewailed her. It must indeed have been a pageant of 
almost tragic interest, considering the excited state of the 
public mind, for Suffolk had been executed that morning, and 
it was only eleven days since the young, lovely, and int^esting 
Lady Jane Gray had been brought to the block. Many 
persons in that crowd remembered the execution of Elizabeth^ 
mother, Queen Anne Boleyn, not quite seventeen years ago, 
and scarcely anticipated a better fate for her, whom they now 
saw conducted through their streets a guarded captive, having 
arrayed herself in white robes, emblematic of innocence. Her 
youdi, her pallid cheek and searching glance, appealed to 
them for sympathy, and it might be for succour ; but neither 
arm nor voice was raised in her defence in all that multitude ; 
and this accounts for the haughty and scornful ecpiession 
which Renaud observed in her countenance as she gazed upon 
them. Perhaps she thought, with sarcastic bitterness, of the 
familiar proverb — " A little help is worth a deal of pity." 

The cavalcade passed through Smithfield and Fleet Street 
to Whitehall, between four and five in the afternoon, and 
entered the palace through the garden. Whatever might be 
her inward alarm, Elizabetih assumed an intrepid bearing. 

" Her cheek was pale, bat resolved and high 
Were the words of her lip and the glance of her eye." 

She boldly protested her innocence, and demanded an 
interview with her sister the queen, on the plea of Mary^s 
previous promise never to condemn her unheard. Mary 
declined seeing her, and she was conducted to a quarter of 
the palace at Westminster, from which neither she nor her 
servants could go out without passing through the guards. Six 
ladies, two gentlemen, and four servants of her own retinue, 
were permitted to remain in attendance on her person, the rest 
of her train were sent into the city of London and lodged 
there. It was on the fidelity and moral courage of these 
persons, that the life of Elizabeth depended ; and it is certain 
that several of them were implicated in the conspiracy. 
Courtenay, her affianced husband, had been arrested on the 
1 2th of February, in the house of the Earl of Sussex, and was 
safely lodged in the bell-tower, and subjected to daily examina- 
tions. He had previously given tokens of weakness and want 
of principle sufficient to fill every one with whom he had been 
politically connected, with apprehension. Yet he seems to 
have acted honourably with regard to Elizabeth, for none of 
his admissions tended to implicate her. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

72 Elizabeth 

Nothing could be more agonizing than the state of suspense, 
in which, for three weeks, Elizabeth remained at Whitehall, 
while her fate was debated by her sister's privy council. 
Fortunately for her this body was agitated with jealousies and 
divided interests. One party relentlessly urged the expediency 
of putting her to death, and argued against the folly of sparing a 
traitress who had entered into plots with foreign powers against 
her queen and country.^ Lord Arundel and Lord Paget were 
the advocates of these ruthless counsels, which, however, really 
emanated from the Emperor Charles V., who considered 
Elizabeth in the light of a powerful rival to the title of the 
bride elect of his son Philip, and he laboured for her destruc- 
tion, in the same spirit that his grandfather Ferdinand had 
made the execution of the unfortunate Earl of Warwick one of 
the secret articles in the marriage treaty of Katharine of 
Arragon, and Arthur Prince of Wales. Besides this political 
animosity, Charles entertained a personal hatred to Elizabeth, 
because she was the daughter of Anne Boleyn, whose fatal 
charms had been the cause of so much evil to his beloved 

Bishop Gardiner, who was at that time opposed to the 
Spanish party, acted in this instance as the friend of Elizabeth 
and Courtenay. He contended " that there was no proof of 
a treasonable correspondence between them during the late 
insurrections, alleging the residence of Courtenay in the queen's 
household at St. James's Palace, and Elizabeth's dangerous 
sickness at Ashridge, as reasons why they were not, and could 
not have been actually engaged in acts of treason, whatever 
might have been their intentions."^ In this matter, Gardiner 
acted in the true spirit of a modern politician : he threw all the 
weight of his powerful talents and influence into the scale of 
mercy and justice, not for the sake of the good cause he 
advocated, but because it afforded him an opportunity of con- 
tending with his rivals on vantage ground. The murderous 
poHcy of Spain is thus shamelessly avowed by Renaud in one of 
his letters to his imperial master : — " The queen," he says, ** is 
advised to send her (Elizabeth) to the Tower, since she is 
accused by Wyat, named in the letters of the French ambassador, 
and suspected by her own council ; and it is certain that the 
enterprise was undertaken in her favour. Assuredly, sire, if 
they do not punish her and Courtenay, now that the occasion 
offers, the queen will never be secure, for I doubt that if 

1 Renaud's Letter to the Emperor Charles V. 
3 Mackintosh. Lingard. Tytler. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 73 

she leaves her in the Tower, when she goes to meet the 
parliament, some treasonable means will be found to deliver her 
or Courtenay, or perhaps both, and then the last error will be 
worse than the first.'* 

The council was in possession of two notes addressed to 
Elizabeth by Wyat, the first, advising her to remove to Don- 
nington, which was close to their head-quarters; the second^ 
after her neglecting to obey the queen's summons to courts 
informing her of his victorious entry into Southwark. Three 
despatches of Noailles to his own government had been inter- 
cepted and deciphered, which revealed all the plans of the 
conspirators in her favour. Noailles, too — and that made 
the matter worse — ^had married one of her maids of honour ; ^ 
which circumstance, of course, afforded a direct facility for 
more familiar intercourse, than otherwise could publicly have 
taken place, between the disaffected heiress of the crown, and 
the representative of a foreign power. In addition to these 
presumptive evidences, a letter, supposed to have been written 
by her to the King of France, had fallen into the hands of the 
queen. The Duke of Suffolk, doubtless with a view to the 
preservation of his own daughter. Lady Jane Gray, had declared 
that the object of the conspiracy was the dethronement of the 
queen, and the elevation of Elizabeth to her place.* Wyat 
acknowledged that he had written more than one letter to 
Elizabeth, and charged Courtenay, face to face, with having 
first suggested the rebellion. Sir James Crofts confessed 
"that he had conferred with Elizabeth, and solicited her to 
retire to Donnington ; " Lord Russell, " that he had privately 
conveyed letters to her from Wyat;" and another prisoner, 
"that he had been privy to a correspondence between Carew 
and Courtenay respecting the intended marriage between that 
nobleman and the princess."' In short, a more disgusting 
series of treachery and cowardice never was exhibited than on 
this occasion ; and if it be true, that there is honour among 
thieves — that is to say, an observance of good faith towards 
each other in time of peril — it is certain nothing of the kind 
was to be found among these confederates, who respectively 
endeavoured, by the denunciation of their associates, to shift 
the penalty of their mutual offences to their fellows in 

Wyat's first confession was, "that the Sieur D'Oysell,. 

1 Kempe's Losely MSB. 

B Lmgard's Elizabeth, Hist. Enz., voL vii 

» Renaud's Letters to Charles V. 



74 Elizabeth 

when he passed through England into Scotland witb the French { 

amlbassador tD< that country, spoke to Sir Jaines. Ciofts to per- { 

suade him to prevent the marriage of Queen Mary» with the 
heir of Spain, to raise Elizabeth to the throne, niarry her to , 

Couitenay, and put the queen to death." He also confessed | 

the promised aid that was guaranteed by the King of France to i 

thecaofedcisitest and the poojected invasions (com France and t 

Scotland* i 

"We have this morning," writes Mr. Secretary Bourne, i 

" tmvailed with Sir Thomas Wyat, touching the Lady Elizabeth | 

andl her servant, Sir William Saintlow ; and your lordship shall | 

understand that Wyat affirmeth his former sayings (depositions), j 

and si^ fuither, that Sir James Crofts knoweth more, if he be , 

sent for and examined. Whereupon, Crofts has been caJied , 

befofie xa- and examined, and confesseth with Wyat, charging { 

SUntltnr with like matter, and further, as we shall declare uoto 
yeKa said lordships. Wherefore, under your correction, we 
think necessary, aotid beseedi you to send for Mr. Sainitkw, aod 
tO' examine him, or cause bam to be sent hither» by us to> be 
eaBamined. Crofts is platn, aiid will tell aU.'' ^ 

The Spanish ambassador, in his report to the emperor, dated 
March sst« affirms that Crofts had confessed the truth in a 
written deposition, and admitted, in plain terms, the intjagues 
of the Frendi ambassador iskh the heretics and rebels ; but 
this depodtion has been vainly sought for at the State Paper 

Great pains were taken by the Spanish £abction to incense 
the queen, to the death, against Elizabeth ; Renaud even 
presumed to intimate that her betrothed husband, Don Philip, 
wotM not venture his person in England till Elizabeth and 
Courtesiay were executed, and endeavoured, by every sort of 
argument, to tempt her to hasten her own marriage by the 
sacrifice of their Hves. irritated as Mary was against both, she 
conk) not resolve on shedding her sister's blood. She told the 
subtle statesman, ** that she should act as the law decided, on 
the evidences of their guilt, but that the prisoners, whose guilt 
had actually been proved, should be executed before she left 
her metropolis *' to open her parliament, which was summoned 
to meet at Oielbrd. She was in great perplexity in what 
manner to dispose of Elizabeth for her own security, before she 
herself departed from London, and she ai^ed the lords of her 
council, one by one, "if either of them would take charge of. 

1 Report of Bourne, Soutlnrel^ Pope, and Hygguis, in State Paper Office, February 
■5i 1553-4. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 75 

&a£ lady." They aJU. declined the perilous responribilkjj, and 
thea the stem resolutioia was adopted of sending her to the 
Tower,^ after a stocmy debate in council on the justifiableness 
of such a measure. The truth was^ Gardhier, finding himself 
likely to he left in a minority by his powe^l rivds in the 
Cat»net, succumbed to their wisehes, and, instead of opposing 
the motion, supported it, and kept his chancellorship^ for a 
temporary reconciliation was then efliected between him ajod the 
leaders of the Spanish faction, Arundel, Paget, and Petre, of 
which the blood of Elizabeth was the intended cement. From 
the moment this trimming statesman abandoned the liberal 
policy he had for a few brief months advocated, he gained 
not to become the most relentless and determined of those who 
sought to bring the royal maiden to the block.^ On the Friday 
before Palm Sunday, he, with nine more of the council, came 
into her presence, and there charged her, both with Wyat's 
conspiracy, and the rising lately nmde in the west by Sir Peter 
Carew and others, and told her " it was the queen's pleasure 
that she should be removed to the Tower." The name of this 
doleful prison, which her own mother,, and, more recently, her 
cousin. Lady Jane Gray, had foimd their next step to the 
scaffold, filled her with dismay. 

**I trust," said shc^ "that her Majesty will be far more 
gracious, than to commit to that place a true and most inno- 
cent woman, thajt never has o£fended her in thought, word, or 
deed." She th«i entreated the lords to intercede for her with 
the queen, which some of them compassionately promised to 
do, and testrfied much pity for her case. About an hour after» 
four of them— namely, Gardiner, the Lord Steward, the Lord 
Treasurer, and the Earl of Sussex — returned with an order to 
discharge all her attendants, except her gentleman usher, three 
gentlewomen, and two grooms of her chamber.* Hitherto 
Elizabeth had been in the honourable keeping of the Lord 
Chamberlain, no other than her uncle. Lord William Howard, 
and Sir John Gage, but now that a sterner policy was adopted, 
a guard was placed in the two ante-rooms leading to her 
chamber, two lords with an armed force in the hall, and two 
hundred Northern white coats in the garden, to prevent all 
possibility of rescue or escape. The next day, the Earl of 
Sussex, and another lord of the council announced to her 
"that a barge was in readiness to convey her to the Tpwer, 
and she must prepare to go as the tide served, which would 

1 SLenaud's Despatches 

■ Tytler. Renaud. Speed. Fox « Speed. Fox. 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



tarry for no one."^ This intimation seems to have inspired 
Elizabeth with a determination to outstay it, since the delay of 
every hour was important to her whose fate hung on a balance 
so nicely poised. She implored to see the queen her sister, 
and that request being denied, she then entreated for permis- 
sion to write to her. This was peremptorily refused by one of 
the noblemen, who told her "that he durst not suffer it, 
neither, in his opinion, was it convenient.'* ^ But the Earl of 
Sussex, whose generous nature was touched with manly com- 
passion, bent his knee before her, and told her " she should 
have liberty to write her mind," and swore, " as he was a true 
man, he would himself deliver it to the queen, whatsoever 
came of it, and bring her back the answer." 

Elizabeth then addressed, with the earnest eloquence of 
despair, the following moving letter to her royal sister, taking 
good care not to bring it to a conclusion till the tide had ebbed 
so far as to render it impossible to shoot the bridge with a 
barge that turn. 

The Lady Elizabeth to the Queen.' 

"If any ever did try this old saying, 'that a king's word was more than 
another man's oath,' I must humbly beseech your Majesty to verify it in 
me, and to remember your last promise^ and my last demand — ^that I be 
not condemned without answer and due proof— which it seems that I now 
am ; for without cause proved, 1 am by your council from you commanded, 
to go to the Tower, a place more wanted for a false traitor, than a true 
subject. Which though I know I deserve it not, yet in the face of all this 
realm it appears proved. I pray to God I may die the shamefuUest death 
that any ever died, if I may mean any such thing ; and to this present hour 
I protest before God (who shall judge my truth whatsoever malice shall 
devise) that I never practised, counselled, nor consented to anything that 
might be prejudicial to your person any way, or dangerous to the state by 
any means. And therefore I humbly beseech your Majesty to let me 
answer afore yourself, and not suffer me to trust to your councillors — yea, 
and that afore I go to the Tower — if it be possible — if not, before I be 
further condemned. Howbeit, I trust assuredly your Highness will give 
me leave to do it afore I go, that thus shamefully I may not be cried out 
on, as I now shall be — yea,i,and that without cause 1 

" Let conscience move your Highness to pardon this my boldness, which 
innocency procures me to do, together with hope of your natural kindness, 

1 Speed. Fox. 

S Toe name of this ungentle peer is not recorded, from motives of delicacy, by Fox 
and HoUnshed, but he is supposed to be Paulet, Marquis of Winchester, who was alive 
when these bookslwere written. 

8 MS. Harleian^ 7x90-3. The document, in its original orthography, may be seen in 
SurH. Ellis's Original Letters, 2nd series, vol. ii. p. 255. The commencing sentence of 
this letter is a quotation from the noble speech of King John of France, when he returned 
to his captivity in England. 

4 This promise must have been given at the last interview of the royal sisters, before 
Elizabeth retired to Ashridge. when she had to clear herself from conspiring with 
NosuUes, the French ambassador, as before related. 

Digitized by VjOOg IC 

Elizabeth 77 

which I trust will not see me cast away without desert, which what it {Aer 
desert) is I would desire no more of God, but that you truly knew — but 
which thing I think and believe, you shall never by report know, unless by 
yourself you hear. I have heard of many in my time cast away, for want 
of coming to the presence of their prince ; and in late days I heard my 
lord of Somerset say, that if his brother had been suffered to speak with 
him, he had never suffered, but persuasions were made to him so great that 
he was brought in belief, that he could not live safely if the admiral {Lord 
Thomas Seymour) lived, and that made him give consent to his death. 
Though these persons are not to be compared to your Majesty, yet I pray 
God the like evil persuasions persuade not one sister against the other, and 
all, for that they have heard false report, and the truth not known. 

"Therefore, once again, kneeling with humbleness of heart, because I 
am not suffered to bow the knees of my body, I humbly crave to speak 
with your Highness, which I would not be so bold as to desire, if I knew 
not myself most clear, as I know myself most true. 

"And as for the traitor Wyat, he might, peradventure, write me a 
letter, but on my faith I never received any from him. And as for the copy 
of the letter sent to the French king, I pray God confound me eternally if 
ever I sent him word, message, token, or letter, by any means, and to this 
truth I will stand in till my death. 

"Your Highnesses most faithful subject, that hath been from the 
beginning, and will be to my end. 

• "Elizabeth. 

** I humbly crave but only one word of answer from yourself.***' 

This letter, written, as has been shewn, on the spur of the 
moment, possesses more perspicuity and power than any other 
composition from the pen of Elizabeth. She had not time to 
hammer out artificial sentences, so completely entangled with 
far-fetched metaphors and pedantic quotations, that a com- 
mentator is required to construe every one of her ambiguous 
paragraphs. No such ambiguity is used here, where she pleads 
for her life in good earnest, and in unequivocal language 
appeals boldly, from the inimical privy council, to her sister's 
natural affection, and the event proved in the end, that she did 
not appeal in vain. Yet her Majesty shewed no symptoms of 
relenting, at the time it was delivered, being exceedingly angry 
with Sussex for having lost the tide, and, according to Kenaud, 
she rated her council soundly for having presumed to deviate 
from the instructions she had issued.^ The next tide did not 
serve till midnight, misgivings were felt, lest some project were' 
in agitation among her friends and confederates, to effect a rescue 
under the cover of the darkness, and so it was decided that they 
would defer her removal till the following day. This was Palm 
Sunday, and the council considered that it would be the safest 
plan to have the princess conveyed to the Tower by water 

1 See his letter to the Emperor Charles, dated March 99, 1553-4, In Tytler's M»< 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

78 Elizabeth 

during the time 6f morning service, and on that account the 
people were strictly enjoined to carry their palms to church. 

Sussex and the Lord Treasurer were with Edizabeth soon after 
nine o'clock that morning, and informed her that the time was 
now come, that her Grace must away with them to the Tower. 
She replied, " The Lord's will be done ; I am contented, seeing 
it is the queen's pleasure." Yet as she was conducted through 
the garden to the barge, she turned her eyes towards every 
window in the lingering hope, as it was thought, of seeing some 
one who would espouse her cause, and finding herself disap- 
pointed in this, she passionately exclaimed, " I marvel what 
the nobles mean by suffering me, a prince, to be led i«*to 
captivity, the Lord knoweth wherefore, for myself I do not** * 

Her escort hurried her to the barge, being anxious to pass 
the shores of London at a time when they would be least likely 
to attract attention ; but in their efforts not to be too late, they 
were too early, for the tide had not risen sufficiently high to 
allow the barge to shoot the bridge, where the fall of the water 
was -so great that the experienced boatmen declined attempting 
it. The peers urged them to proceed, and they lay hovering 
upon the water in extreme danger for a time, and at length their 
caution was overpowered, by the impemtive orders of the itwo 
noblemen, who insisted on their passing the Arch. Th^ 
reluctantly essayed to do so, and struck the stem of the bacge 
against the starling, and not without great difficulty and much 
peril succeeded in clearing it. Not one, perhaps, of the 
anxious spectators, who, from the houses which at that timt 
overhung the bri4ge, beheld the jeopardy of that boat's com- 
pany, suspected tiie K^uaiity of the pale girl, whose escape from 
a watery grave jmist have elicited an ejaculation of thaiik$^ving 
from many a "kaodly heart Elizabeth objected to being landed 
at the traitor's gate, '^neither weU could she, unless sihe should 
step into the water over her shoe^"" she said. One of the lopds 
told b&tj *' she must not choose," and as k was then raining, 
offered her his doak. ^' She dashed it from her, with a good 
dash," says our Anthor,^ and as she set her foot on the stairs, 
exdaimed, — ^* Here lands as true a subject, being prisoner, as 
ever landed at these stairs. Ee£ore thee, O God« I speak it, 
having no other Mend but thee alonel" To "which the nobles who 
escorted her replied^ " if it were so, it was the better for her." 
Wb«i she came to the gate a number of the watdbrs and ser> 
vants bdoDging to (the Tower were daxmn up in raiik, and some 
of them, as she passed, knelt and " prayed God to preserve her 

1 Speed. Fox. ■ Ibid. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 



Grace,'' for which they were afterwards reprimanded. Instead 
of passing through the gates to which she had been thus con- 
ducted, Elizabeth seated herself on a cold damp stone, with the 
evident intention of not entering a prison which had proved so 
fatal to her race. Bridgess, the lieutenant of the Tower, said to 
her, " Madam, you ha'd best come out of the rain, for you sit 
unwholesomely." "Better sit here than in a worse place," 
she replied, "for God knoweth, not I, whither you will bring 

On hearing these words, her gentleman usher burst into a 
passion of weeping, "which she perceiving, chid him for his 
weakness in thus giving way to his feelings, and discouraging 
her, whom he ought mther to comfort and support, especially 
knowing her truth to be such that no man had any cause to 
weep for her; " when, however, she was inducted into the apart- 
ment appointed for her confinement, and the doors made fast 
upon her with locks and bolts, she was sore dismayed, but 
called for her book, and gathering the sorrowful remnant of 
her servants round her, begged them to unite with her in prayer 
for the divine protection and succour. Meantime the lords of 
the council who had brought her to the Tower proceeded to 
deliver their instructions to the authorities there for her safe 
keeping; but when some measure of unnecessary rigour was 
suggested by one of the commissioners, the Earl of Sussex, 
who appears to have been thoroughly disgusted with the un- 
gracious office that had heen put upon him, and the unmanly 
conduct of "Kis associates, sternly admonished them in these 
yrprds : — " Let us take heed, my lords, that we go not beyond 
-our commission, for she was our king's daughter, and is, ^e 
know, the prince next in blood, wherefore let us so deal with her 
now, that we have not, if it so happen, to answer for our 
dealings hereafter." * 

1 Fox ; Speed ; Holinshed. 

2 Ibid. 

Digitized by VjOOQ iC 


Elizabeth in the Tower— Examined by Gardiner and the council— Confronted with Sir J. 
Crofts— Her expostulation — Rigorous examination of her servants — Compelled to 
hear mass — Harsh treatment of her Protestant ladies — Her deportment in prison — 
Precautions against her escape — ^The Spanish ambassador urges her execution — 
Wyat exonerates her on the scaffold — She is i)ermitted to take the air — Sympathy of 
children for Elizabeth — Flowers brought her in the Tower* garden — Warden's child 
examined by the council— Her cause favoured by her uncle (Lord W. Howard) and 
Arundel — Illness of the queen — Attempt of Gardiner to destroy Elizabeth — Mary 
replaces her sbter's picture— Refuses to have her tried — Elizabeth taken from the 
Tower to Richmond by water— Refuses to marry Philibert of Savoy — Harsh treat- 
ment on her journey to Woodstock— Sympathy of the people— Lord William's 
hospitality to Elizabeth— Her captivity at Woodstock— Her prison verses— Her 
needle-work — Dangerous illness — Recovery— Journey to Hampton Court — Interview 
MHth Gardiner, &c. — Her spirited conduct — Her interview with the queen — Recon- 
ciliation — Joins the royal parties at Christmas — Takes her place next the queen — 
Homage paid to her by Philip II. — ^She again rejects Philioert of Savoy — Returns 
to W(x>dstock— Accusations ot sorcery with Dr. Dee— Philip II. 's friendship for 
Elizabeth— She is permitted to return to Hatfield— Sir T. Pope her castellan— His 
courtesy to Elizabeth — Fetes and pageants — Implication in new plots — Her letter to 
the queen — She visits the court — Meditates withdrawing to France — Fresh re- 
conciliation with the queen — Offer by the Prince of Sweden — Her prudent conduct — 
Appointed successor to the croMoi — Mary's last requests to her— Contradictory state- 
ments — Interview with the Spanish ambassador — Sups with him at Lady Clinton's — 
Their conversation — Queen Mary sends her the crown jewels — Premature reports of 
Mary's death — Elizabeth sends 'Throckmorton — Death of the queen announced to her 
«— Her exclamation on being saluted queen. 

It was on the i8th of March that Elizabeth was lodged in the 
Tower, and she was soon afterwards subjected to a rigorous 
examination by the Lx)rd Chancellor Gardiner, with nine other of 
•the lords of the council. They questioned her on her motives 
ifor her projected remove to Donnington Castle during the late 
insurrection. Elizabeth, being taken by surprise, allowed her 
natural propensity for dissimulation to betray her into the 
-childish equivocation of affecting to be unconscious that she 
had such a house as Donnington.^ When Sir James Crofts 
was brought in and confronted with her, she recollected herself, 
and said, " As touching my remove to Donnington, my officers, 
and you. Sir James Crofts, being then present, can well testify 
•whether any rash or unbeseeming word did then pass my 
^ps, which might not have well become a faithful and loyal 

Thus adjured, Sir James Crofts knelt to her and said, " He 
was heartily sorry to be brought in that day to be a witness 
against her Grace, but he took God to record that he never 
knew anything of her, worthy the least suspicion." ^ 

1 Heywood's England's Elizabeth. Lingard. 
a Heywood. Fox, 

^° Digitized by Google 

Elizabeth 8i 

" My lord^s," said. Elizabeth, " methinks you do me wrong 
to examine every mean prisoner against me; if they have done 
evil, let them answer for it. I pray you, join me not with such 
offenders. Touching my remove from Ashridge to Donning- 
ton, I do remember me that Mr. Hoby, mine officers, and you, 
Sir James Crofts, had some talk about it ; but what is that to 
the purpose ? Might I not, my lords, go to mine own houses 
at all times?"! 

Whereupon the Lord of Arundel, kneeling down, observed, 
" that her Grace said truth, and that himself was sorry to see 
her troubled about such vain matters." 

" Well, my lords," rejoined she, " you sift me narrowly, but 
you can do no more than God hath appointed, unto whom I 
pray to forgive you all." ^ 

This generous burst of feeling on the part of the Earl of 
Arundel must have had a startling effect on all present, for he 
had been foremost in the death-cry against Elizabeth, and had 
urged the queen to bring her to trial and execution. Blinded 
by the malignant excitement of party feeling, he had, doubt- 
less, so far deceived himself as to regard such a measure as a 
stem duty to the nation at large, in order to prevent future 
insurrections, by sacrificing one person for the security of 
Mary's government; but when he saw and heard the young 
defenceless woman, whom he and his colleagues had visited in 
her lonely prison room, to browbeat and to entangle in her talk, 
his heart smote him for the cruel part he had taken, and he 
yielded to the generous impulse which prompted him to express 
his conviction of her innocence, and his remorse for the 
injurious treatment to which she was subjected. So powerful 
was the reaction of his feelings on this occasion, that he not 
only laboured as strenuously for the preservation of Elizabeth, 
as he had hitherto done for her destruction, but even went so 
far as to offer his heir to her for a husband, and subsequently 
made her a tender of his own hand, and became one of the 
most persevering of her wooers. It is to be feared that Eliza- 
beth, then in the bloom of youth, and very fairly endowed by 
nature, exerted all her fascinations to entangle the heart of this 
stern pillar of her sister's throne in the perplexities of a 
delusive passion for herself. That the royal coquette indulged 
the stately old earl with deceitful hopes, appears evident by the 
tone he assumed towards her after her accession to the throne, 
and his jealousy of his handsome, audacious rival, Robert 
Dudley ; but of this, hereafter. 

1 Speed. Fox. Brigbt's Muraculoas Preservation. > Speed 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

82 Elizabeth 

Elizabeth's confinement in the Tower was, at ^wt, so Tigor- 
ous, that she was not permitted to see any -one but thesarants 
who had been selected by the council to wait uperti her— a 
service fraught with danger even to those Who were permitted 
to perform it. As for the other members cf her bcmsehold, 
several were in prison, and one of these, Edmund Treraaine, 
was subjected to the infliction of torture^ in the vain attempt 
to extort evidence against her.^ 

Before Elizabeth had been two days in the Tower, the use of 
English prayers and Protestant rites were prohibited, and she 
was required to hear mass. One of her ladies, Mrs. Elizabeth 
Sands, refused to attend that service; on which her father 
brought Abbot Feckenhara to persuade her to it; but as«he 
continued firm in her resistance, she was dismissed from her 
office, and andtJher lady, Mrs. Coldebum, appointed in her 
stead.^ Another of Elizabeth's ladies, the beautiful Isabella 
Markham, who was just married to Sir John Harrington, was 
also sequestered from her service, on account of her 'heretical 
opinions, and committed to a prison lodging in the Tower, with 
her husband, whose offence was having conveyed a letter to the 
princess. This misdemeanour, however, appears to liave been 
comniitted as far back as the second year of Edward VI.j if we 
may judge from the allusions Harrington makes to his former 
master, the lord admiral, Thomas Seymour, in the spirited letter 
of remonstrance which he addressed to Gardiner, on the 
subject of his imprisonment and that of 'his irife. - Nothing 
can afford a more beautiful picture, of the attachment subsist- 
ing between the captive princess and these faithful adherents 
than this letter, which is written in the fearless spirit of a true 
knight and noble-minded gentleman : — 

*'My LO&P, 

*' This mine humble prayer doth come with much sorrow, for axxy deed 
of evil that I have done to your lordship ; but, alas ! I know of none, save 
such duty to the Lady Elizabeth as I am bounden to pay her at all times ; 
and if tins matter breed eth in you such wrath towards her and roe, I shall 
not, in ifais mine imprisonment^ rqpent thereof. My wife is her servant, 
and doth but rejoice in this our misery when we look with whom we are 
holden in bondage. Our gracious King Henry did ever advance our family's 
good estate, as did his pious father aforetime ; wherefore our service is in 
temembmnce of such good kindness, albeit there needeth none othercsaee 
to render loitr tendanoe, siththe Lady Elizabeth beareth such piety and>godl;y 
affection to all virtne. Consider that your lordship aforetime hath combated 
with much like affliction : why, then, should not our state cause you to 
recount the satoe, and breed pity to us-ward? Mine poor lady hath^reater 
cause to wail, than we of such small degree, but her mre escampk finordeth 

1 Speed. '■ Strype. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 83 

oomfott to «•» and'shameth our «onipIaifit TThy, my good lord, mist I be 
thus annoyed for cue >deed of special good mili to the Lady Elizabeth, in 
bearing a letter sent from an€ that had such right 4o girte me his commands^ 
and to one that had such right to all mine hearty service ? 

" May God incline you to amend all this cruelty, and ever and wion turn 
our prayer in good and merdfol consideratioA. My Lord Admiral Seymoar 
did truly win my loye amidst this bard and deadly annoyance. Now may 
the same like pity touch yoor heart, and deal us better usage. His sendee 
was ever joyful, and why must this be afflicting? Mine auncient kindred 
have ever held their duty and liege obeysance, nor will I do them such dis- 
honour as may blot out their worthy deeds, but will ever abide in ail 
honesty and love. If you should g^ive ear to my compilaint, it will bind me 
to thankfiiUy repay this kindness ; but if not, we will continue to suffer, and 
rest ourselves in God, whose mercy is sure and safe, and in all true love to 
her (the Princess Eliaabeth) who doth honour us in tender sort, and scometh 
not to shed her tears with ours. I commend your lordship to God's 
appointment, and rest, sorely afflicted, 

"From the 7Wi«, 1554."" "John Harrington/' 

The above most interesting letter is the more valuable because 
it affords the testimony of the accomplished writer as to the 
personal deportment of Elizabeth among her own immediate 
friends during their mutual imprisonment in the Tower. Sir 
John Harrington the younger says — " that his parents had not 
any comfort to beguile their affliction but the sweet words and 
sweeter deeds of their mistress and fellow-prisoner, the Princess 

In after years Elizabeth herself told Castelnau, the French 
ambassador, when adverting to this period,* " that she was in 
great danger of losing her life from the displeasure her sister had 
conceived against her, in consequence of the accusations that 
were fabricated, on the subject of her correspondence with the 
King of France ; and having no hope of escaping, she desired 
to make her sister only one request, which was, that she might 

1 This ott only allude to Hmfaiftoo'a forawr nwslv, SeyaovrofSodlegrvartfao context 

^ Nogas Antiqufla^ by Sir John Hamns[ton tho younger, th» «on of 4Ms ftUhlul ommi, to 
whom Eluabedi stood godmodier. The unprisonment an4 hanh breetment of his ptuBooto 

is indignaBdy recordedoy the godson of Elizabeth among the evil deeds of Gardiner, 
«rUdi^e aoAs up an these fraras 9—** Lastly, the plots be laid to entrap the Lady Eliza- 
bath, bia terrible baxd usage of all her followers, 1 cannot yet scarce think of with chari^, 
nor write of with patience. My father, onlyfor carrying of a kticr to thc.Lady Elizabeth, 
and piofesaing to wiah.ber well* he kept in the Tower twelve aooiithK, and made him spend 
a thousand pounds ere he could be free of that trouble. My mother, that then servea the 
said Lady Elizabeth, he caused to be sequestered from her as an heretic, so that her own 
fiither dunt not take her into hi* house, but she was glad to se^oum with one Mr. Topdife ; 
so, as I may sa^ hi some sort, this bishop persecuted me before I was bom.**-— Nugs 
Antiqiue, vol. it. yi^ 67, 08. 

It was xui the dischaxs^ <^ Lady Harrington, which took place some months before that 
of her hushed, that she was refused an asymm by her father. 'Sir Jobn Harrington, 
beedaiint; MFsary of fcSi long meozacmtioQ, ventadrfais iodignmn feelings in som^ bitterfy 
satirical vases, addressed to Gardiner, which he had the temeritv to send to his powerfiu 
adversary* .Gaadioer instantly ordered him to be released from bis captivity, observing, 
that but for his saucy sonnet he was worthy to have lain a year longer in the Tower. 

i Memoirs de Castelnau, i. p. 3a. 



have her head cut off with a sword, as in France, and not with 
an axe, after the present fashion adopted in -England, and 
therefore desired that an executioner might be sent for out of 
France, if it were so determined." What frightful visions con- 
nected with the last act of her unfortunate mother's tragedy, 
must have haunted the prison-musings of the royal captive ! 
who, having but recently recovered from a long and severe 
malady, was probably suffering from physical depression of 
spirits at this time. The traditions of the Tower of London 
affirm, that the lodging of the Princess Elizabeth was imme- 
diately under the great alarum bell, which in case of any 
attempt being made for her escape, was to have raised its 
clamorous tocsin, to summon assistance, and the hue and cry 
for pursuit. It seems scarcely probable, however, that she 
would have been placed in such close contiguity with Courtenay, 
unless the proximity were artfully contrived, as a snare to lure 
them into a stolen intercourse, or attempts at correspondence, 
for the purpose of furnishing a fresh mass of evidence against 

In a letter, of the 3rd of April, Renaud relates the particulars 
of two successive interviews, which he had had with the queen 
and some of the members of her council, on the measures 
necessary to be adopted for the security of Don Philip's person, 
before he would venture himself in England. His Excellency 
states, "that he had assured the queen, that it was of the 
utmost importance that the trials and executions of the 
criminals, especially those of Courtenay and Elizabeth, should 
be concluded before the arrival of the prince. The queen 
evasively replied " that she had neither rest nor sleep for the 
anxiety she took for the security of his Highness at his coming." 
Gardiner then remarked, " that as long as Elizabeth was alive, 
there was no hope that the kingdom could be tranquil, but if 
every one went to work as roundly as he did in providing 
remedies, things would go on better." 

'* As touching Courtenay," pursues Renaud, " there is matter 
sufficient against him to make his punishment certain, but for 
Elizabeth they have not yet been able to obtain matter sufficient 
for her conviction, because those persons with whom she was 
in communication have fled.^ Nevertheless, her Majesty tells 
me, that from day to day they are finding more proofs against 
her. That especially they had several witnesses, who deposed 
as to the preparation of arms and provisions, which she made 

1 Among these was Sir Francis Knollys, the husband of the daughter of her aunt, Mary 


by Google 

Elizabeth 85 

for the purpose of rebelling with the others, and of maintaining 
herself in strength in a house to which she sent the supplies." 
This was of course Donnington Castle, to which allusion has so 
often been made. 

Renaud then proceeds to relate the substance of a conversa- 
tion he had had with Paget, on the subject of Elizabeth, in 
which he says, that Paget told him, " that if they could not 
procure sufficient evidence to enable them to put her to death, 
the best way of disposing of her would be, to send her out of 
the kingdom, through the medium of a foreign marriage," and 
the Prince of Piedmont was named as the most eligible person 
on whom to bestow her. Great advantages were offered to all 
parties. Paget considered if this convenient union could be 
effected, it would obviate all the dangers and difficulties involved 
in the unpopular marriage between Queen Mary and Philip of 
Spain, and if Elizabeth could be induced to consent to such an 
alliance, her own rights in the succession were to be secured to 
her consort, in the event of the queen having no children, for 
the minister added, " he could see no way by which she could 
at present, be excluded or deprived of the right, which the 
Parliament had given her." 

If we may rely on Holinshed, whose testimony as a contem- 
porary, is, at any rate, deserving of attention, Elizabeth's table, 
while she was a prisoner in the Tower, was supplied at her own 
cost. He gives a curious account of the disputes that took 
place daily, between the authorities in the Tower, and the 
servants of the princess, who were appointed to purvey for her. 
These, when they brought her daily diet to the outer gate of the 
Tower, were required to deliver it, says our chronicler, " to the 
common rascal soldiers,*' and they considering it unmeet that it 
should pass through such hands, requested the vice chamberlain, 
Sir John Gage, who had personal charge and control over the 
royal captive, that they might be permitted to deliver it within 
the Tower themselves. This he refused, on the plea that the 
Lady Elizabeth vyas a prisoner and should be treated as such, 
and when they remonstrated with him, he threatened that " if 
they did either frown or shrug at him, he would set them where 
they should neither see sun nor moon." Either they, or their 
mistress, had the boldness to appeal to the lords of the council, 
by whom ten of the princess's own servants were appointed to 
superintend the purveyances and cooking department, and to 
serve at her table — namely, two yeomen of her chamber, two 
of her robes, two of her pantry and ewry, one of her buttery, 
one of her cellar, another of her larder, and two of her kitchen. 

86 Elizabeth 

At ficst the chamberlain was mucli displeased, and coiadaued 
to aoaaoy them by various meaas, though he afterwards behaved 
more courteously, axid good cause why, adds the chronidiery 
" for he had good cheer, and fared of the best, and her Grace 
paid for it." 

From a letter of Renaud tOr the* emperot, dated the 7th of 
April, we find there were high words betweaa Elizabeth's kins- 
man, the admiral. Lord William Howard, and Sir John Gage, 
about a letter full of seditious expressions in her favour, which 
had been found in the street. In what manner Lord William 
Howard identified Sir John Gage with this attempt to ascertain 
the £bate of public feeling towards Elizabeth, or wheth^ he sus- 
pected it of being a device for accusing her friends, it is difficult 
to judge, but he passionately told Gage, that " she would be the 
cause of cutting ofif so many heads that both he aad others 
would repent it" 

On the 13th. of April, Wyat was brought to the block, and on 
the scaffold puMicly retracted all that he had formerly said, in 
the vain hope c^ escaping the penalty of his own treason^ to 
criminali^ Elizabeth and Courtenay. 

Up to this period, the imprisonment of Elizabeth had been 
so extcemely rigorous, that she had not been permitted to cross 
the threshold of her own apartments, and now, her health 
beginning to give way again, she entreated permission to take 
a little air andexercisa Lovd Chandos, the constable of the 
Tower,, expressed " his regret at being compelled to refuse her, 
as it wa6 contrary to his- orders.'' She then asked leave to walk 
only in the suite of apartments called the queen's lodgings. He 
a{^lied to the couincil for instructions, and, after some discus- 
sion,, the ifndulgence was granted, but only on condition that 
himself the Lord Chamberlain, and three of the queen's ladies^ 
who were selected for that purpose, accompanied her, and that 
she should not be permitted to shew herself at the windows, 
which were ordered to be kept shut. A few days afterwards, 
as Elizabeth evidently required air as well as exercise, she was 
allowjed to walk in a little garden that was enclosed with high 
pales, b«rt the other prisoners were strictiy enjoined " not so 
much as to look in that direction while her Grace remained 
thereia." ^ 

The powerful interest that was excited for the captive 
princess at this fearful crisis, may be conjectured by the lively 
sympathy manifested towards her by the children of the officers 
and servants of the royal fortress, who brought her offerings of 

I Speed. Foit. Warton, 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 87 

flowers. Ooe of these tender-hearted little ones was the chUd 
of Maftm, the keeper of the queen's robes ; axK)tber was called 
little Susaj^oa, a baJi>e not alK)ve three years old ; there was 
also another infent girl^ who having one day found some litde 
keys, earned them to the princess when she was walking in the 
garden^ axid innocesutly 0old her, ''she had brought her the keys 
now, so she need not always stay there, but might unlock the 
gates and go abroad." ^ -s^ 

< Elizabeth was all her life remarkable for her love of children, 
and her naitural affection for them, was doubtless greatly 
increased, by the aortless traits of generous feeling and sympathy, 
which she eacperienced in her time of trouble, from her infant 
partisans in the Towero< How jealous a watch was kept on her, 
and them, may be gathered from the foUowtng passage in one 
of Renaud's letters to the Emperor Charles V,^ '' It is asserted . 
that Courtenay has sent his regards to the Lady Elizabeth by a / 
child of five yteats old, who is in the Tower, the son of one of 
the soldiers there." This passage autfaeiKticates the pretty 
incident, related in the life oi Ehzabetk, in Fox's Ap^ndix, 
where we 9ie told, that at the hotu she was accustomed to walk 
in the garden in: the Tower, there usually repaired unto her a 
little boy about four years old, the child of one of the 
people of the Tower, in whose pretty prattling she took great 
pleasure. He was accustomed to bring her flowers,^ and to 
rececve at her hands such things as commonly please children, 
which bred a great suspicion in the chancellor, that by this 
child, ietteis were exchainged between the Pcincess Elizabeth 
aaid Constenay, and so thoroughly was the matter sifted, that 
the innocent little creature was examined by the lords of the 
council, and plied with alternate promises of rewards if he would 
tell the truth and confess who sent him to the Lady Elizabeth 
with letters, and to whom he carried tokens from her, and 
threats of punishment if he persisted in denying it. Nothing, 
however, could be extracted from the child, and he was 
dismissed with threats, and his father, who was severely 
reprimanded, was enjoined not to suffer his boy to resort any 
more to^ her Grace, which nevertheless he aittempted the next 
day to do, but fiodTng the door locked, he peeped through a 
hole, asid called to the princess who was walking in the garden, . 
" Mistress, I can bring you no more flowers now.'* ^■ 

The Tower was at that time crowded with fnisoners of state. 

Dated II 
* Voiu Speed. See the Vignette. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

J bated ist of Ms^, xs54.^^Tytler'8 Edward and Mary, vol. u. p. aSf. 

88 Elizabeth 

among whom, besides Elizabeth's kinsman and political over 
Courtenay, were Sir James Crofts, Sir William Saintlow, 
Edmund Tremaine, Harrington, and others of her own house- 
hold, and last, not least, Lord Robert Dudley, who was after- 
wards her great favourite, the celebrated Earl of Leicester. 
This nobleman was bom on the same day and in the same hour 
with Elizabeth, and had been one of her playfellows in child- 
hood, having, as he afterwards said, " known her intimately 
from her eighth year." Considering the intriguing temper 
of both, it is probable that, notwithstanding the jealous 
precautions of their respective jailors, some sort of secret 
understanding was established between them even at this 
period, possibly through the medium of the child, who brought 
the daily offering of flowers to the princess, although the timid 
Courtenay was the person suspected of carrying on a corre- 
spondence by the agency of this infant Mercury. The signal 
favour that Elizabeth lavished on Robert Dudley, by appointing 
him her master of horse, and loading him with honours within 
the first week of her accession to the crown, must have 
originated from some powerful motive which does not appear 
on the sur&ce of history. His imprisonment in the Tower was 
for aiding and abetting his ambitious father, the Duke of 
Northumberland, and his faction in raising Lady Jane Gray^ 
the wife of his brother. Lord Guildford Dudley, to the throne, 
to the prejudice of Elizabeth, no less than her sister Mary ; 
therefore he must by some means have succeeded, not only in 
winning Elizabeth's pardon for this offence, but in exciting an 
interest in her bosom of no common nature, while they were 
both imprisoned in the Tower, since being immediately after 
his liberation employed in the wars in France, he had no other 
opportunity of ingratiating himself with that princess. 

On the 17th of April, Noailles writes, "Madame Elizabeth, 
having since her imprisonment been very closely confined, is 
now more free. She has the liberty of going all over the 
Tower, but without daring to speak to any one but those 
appointed to guard her. As they cannot prove her implication 
(with the recent insurrection), it is thought she will not die.'* 
Great agitation pervaded Mary's privy council at this time, 
according to the reports of Renaud to his imperial master, on 
the subject of Elizabeth and Courtenay. " What one counsels," 
says he, " another contradicts ; one advises to save Courtenay, 
another Elizabeth, and such confusion prevails that all we 
expect is to see their disputes end in war and tumult." He 
then notices that the chancellor Gardiner headed one party, 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 89 

and the Earl of Arundel, Pembroke, Sussex, the master of the 
horse, Paget, Petre, and the admiral, another. These were 
now the protectors of Elizabeth, and Renaud adds,^ " that the 
queen is irresolute about what should be done with her and 
Courtenay ; but that he can see that she is inclined to set him 
at liberty, through the intercession of her comptroller. Sir 
Robert Rochester, and his friends, who have formed a compact 
for his marriage with that lady. As for Elizabeth,'' pursues he, 
"the lawyers can find no matter for her condemnation. 
Already she has liberty to walk in the Tower garden ; and even 
if they had proof, they would not dare to proceed against her 
for the love of the admiral her kinsman, who espouses her 
quarrel, and has at present all the force of England in his 
power. If, however, they release her, it appears evident that 
the heretics will proclaim her queen." 

The part taken by Arundel, in favoiu: of Elizabeth, was so 
decided, that the queen was advised to send him to the Tower. 
Paget appears to have played a double game, first plotting with 
one side and then with the other; sometimes urging the 
immediate execution of Elizabeth and then intriguing with 
her partisans. 

In the midst of these agitations, the queen was stricken with 
a sudden illness, and it must have been at that time that 
Gardiner, on his own responsibility, sent a privy council 
warrant to the lieutenant of the Tower for the immediate 
execution of Elizabeth. He knew the temper of that princess, 
and probably considered that Jtfi the event of the queen's death, 
he had sinned too deeply against her to be forgiven, and there- 
fore ventured a bold stroke to prevent the possibility of the 
sword of vengeance passing into her hand, by her succeeding to 
the royal office. Bridges, the honest lieutenant of the Tower, 
observing that the queen's signature was not affixed to this 
illegal instrument, for the destruction of the heiress of the 
realm, and being sore^ grieved for the charge it contained, 
refused to execute it till he had ascertained the queen's 
pleasure by a direct communication on the subject with her 

The delay caused by this caution preserved Elizabeth from 
the machinations of her foes. The queen was much displeased 
when she found such a plot was in agitation, and sent Sir 
Henry Bedingfeld, a stem Norfolk knight, in whose courage 
and probity she knew she could confide, with a hundred of her 

1 Rcnaud's Letters to the Emperor. . 

2 Hcywood's England's Elizabeth. Fox. Speed. See Memoir of Mary^(S.> 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

90 Elizabeth 

guard, to take the command of the Tower till she could form 
^ome plan for the removal of her sister to one of the royal 
residences further from the metropolis.^ Notwithstanding all 
that had been done by friends, foes, and designing foreign 
potentates, to inflame the queen's mind against Elizabeth, the 
voice of nature was suffered to plead in behalf of the oppressed 
captive. Early in May it was noticed that her Majesty began, 
when speaking of Elizabeth, to call her " sister," whidi she 
had not done before since her impriscmment, and that she 
liad caused her portrait to be replaced next to her own in 
her gallery.2 

She had positively given up the idea of bringing either her or 
Courtenay to trial for their alleged offences, and had negatived 
the suspicious proposal of the emperor that Elizabeth should 
be sent into a sort of honourable banishment to the court of 
his sister, the Queen of Hungary, or his own court at Brussels. 
It was then suggested in council that she should be imprisoned 
at Pontefract Castle ;^ but that ill-omened place, " stained with 
the blood of princes,*' was rejected for the royal bowers of 
Woodstock, where it was finally determined to send her, under 
the charge of Sir Henry Bedingfeld, and Lord Williams of 
Tame, who were both staunch Catholics. 

Elizabeth, who naturally regarded every unwonted movement 
and change wkh apprehension, when she first saw Sir Henry 
Bedingfeld, and the hundred men at arms in bhie coats under 
his command, enter the inner court of the Tower, supposing it 
to be a prelude to her executi^^i^ demanded in terror, "if the 
Lady Jane's scaffold were removed." * 

She then sent for Lord Chandos,* and fearfully inquired the 
meaning of what she saw. He endeavoured to calm her mind 
by telling her, " that she had no cause for alarm ; but that his 
orders were to consign her into the charge of Sir Henry 
Bedingfeld, to be conveyed, he believed, to Woodstock." 

Elizabeth then declared that she knew not what manner of 
man Bedingfeld was, and inquired, "whether he were a 
person who made conscience of murder, if such an order 
were entrusted to him?" Her mind evidently recurred on 
this occasion to the appointment of Sir James Tyrrel by 
Richard III. for the midtiight murder of the youthful brethren 
of her grandmother, Elizabeth of York, as a parallel circum- 
stance ; and when it is remembered that seventy years had not 

1 See the Life of Mary (S.). 9 Noaillcs. 

> Renaud's Letters to the Emperor. 

* Speed's Chronicle. Fox. 

s Chandos appears the same person as Bridges^ the Lieutenant e^ the To] 

Lieutenantoi the Tom. 

Digitized by VjOOQ iC 

Elizabeth 91 

elapsed since the perpetration of that mysterious tragedy, it is 
not to be wondered, that the stoiat heart of Elizabeth Tudor,, 
occasionally vibrated with a thrill of terror, during her 
incarceration as a 'State prisoner, within those gloomy walls. 

The 19th of May is generally mentioned as the date of 
EKzabeth's Femoval from the Tower. We find this notice in 
a contemporary record : — " The 20th day of May, my Lady vj 

Elizabeth, the queen's sister, came out of the Tower, and took 
her barge at the Tower wharf, and so to Richmond." ^ Eliza- 
beth was attended on this occasion by the Lord Treasurer,. 
(Marquis of Winchester,) and the chamberlain. She performed 
the voyage to Richmond without once landing, till she arrived 
there.* It is affirmed that she was then conducted to the 
palace, where she had an interview with the queen, ber sister, 
who offered her pardon and liberty, on condition of her 
accepting the hand of Philibert of Savoy, Prince of Piedmont,, 
in marriage ; and that she firmly refused to contract matrimony 
with him or any other foreign prince whatsoever, alleging ber 
preference of a single life .• 

The harsh measures that were adopted that evemng at 
Richmond, in removing all her own servants from their 
attendance on her person, were probably resorted to on 
account of the inflexibility of her determination em this point. 
She evidently considered herself in great peril, for she required 
the prayers of her departing servants with mournful earnest- 
ness, " for this night," said she, " I think I must die ; " which 
sorrowful words drew fountains of tears from their eyes, and 
her gentleman-usher went to the Lord Tame in the court, and 
conjured him to tell him, " whether the princess his mistre6& 
were in danger of death that night ; that if so, he and his^ 
fellows might take such part as God would appoint. " " Marry, 
God forbid ! " exclaimed Lord Tame, " that any such wicked- 
ness should be intended, which rather than it should be 
wrought, I and my men will die at her feet"* 

All night, however, a strict guard of soldiers kept watch and 
ward about the house where she lay, to prevent escape or 

The next morning, in crossing the river at Richmondi to 
proceed on her melancholy journey towards Woodstock, she 
found her disbanded servants .lingering on the banks of the 
Thames to take a last look of her. "Go to them," said she to 

1 MS. Cotton. Vitell. fol. v. J 

> Letter from Robert Swift to tb« Earl of Shrewsbury. Lodfce's niuatrationii vol. i, | 

•"•'tare'. Ufc of Burleigh. * Spe-^gitizSP^GoOgk 

92 Elizabeth 

one of the gentlemen in her escort, " and tell them from me 
* Tanquam avis^* like a sheep to the slaughter, for so," added 
she, "am lied." 

No one was, however, permitted to have access to her, and 
the most rigorous scrutiny was used towards every one who 
endeavoured to open the slightest communication, either direct 
or indirect, with the royal captive. 

Noailles, the French ambassador, no sooner understood that 
Elizabeth was removed from the Tower, than he commenced 
his old tricks, by sending a spy with a present of apples to her 
on her journey ; a very unwelcome mark of attention from such 
a quarter, considering the troubles and dangers in which the 
unfortunate girl had already been involved, in consequence of 
that unprincipled diplomat's previous intercourse with her, and 
her household. The guards, as a matter of course, stopped 
and examined the messenger, whom they stripped to the shirt,^ 
but found nothing except the apples, which, from the season of 
the year might appear an acceptable offering, but certainly an 
ill-judged one under the present circumstances ; and doubtless 
it had an unfavourable effect on the mind of Elizabeth's stem 
guardian, Sir Henry Bedingfeld. The sympathy of the people 
for the distressed heiress of the realm, was manifested by their 
assembling to meet her by the way, and greeting her with tear- 
ful prayers and loving words ; but when diey pressed nearer, to 
obtain a sight of her, they were driven back, and angrily reviled 
by the names of rebels and traitors to the queen ; and whereas, 
pursues the chronicler, " in certain villages the bells were rung 
for joy of her supposed deliverance as she passed. Sir Henry 
Bedingfeld took the matter so distastefully that he commanded 
the bells to be stopped, and set the ringers in the stocks." ^ 
The second day's journey brought Elizabeth to Windsor, where 
she spent the night, and lodged in the dean's house near Saint 
George's chapel. The next resting-place was Ricote, in 
Oxfordshire, which being the seat of Lord Williams of Tame, 
she there received every princely and hospitable entertainment, 
from that amiable nobleman, who had invited a noble company 
of knights and ladies, to meet his royal charge at dinner, and 
treated her with all the marks of respect that were due to her 
exalted rank as the sister of his sovereign. This seasonable 
kindness greatly revived the drooping spirits of the princess, 
though it was considered rather dc trop by Sir Richard 
Bedingfeld, who significantly asked his fellow-commissioner, 
'' if he were aware of the consequences of thus entertaining the 

1 Noailles' Despatches. > Speed. Fox. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 93 

queen's prisoner ? *' The generous Williams replied, with manly 
spirit, " that let what would befal, her Grace might and should 
be merry in his house." * 

It is said, that when Elizabeth expressed a wish to Sir Henry 
Bedingfeld, to delay her departure till she had seen a game of 
chess, in which Lord Williams and another gentleman were 
engaged, played out; he would not permit it. Probably, Sir 
Henry suspected that she intended to outwit him by means of 
a secret understanding between the friendly antagonists, in 
order to gain time ; for it is well known, that a game of chess 
may be prolonged for days, and in fact to any length of time. 

It is also related, that as they were proceeding towards 
Woodstock, a violent storm of wind and rain, which they 
encountered, greatly disordered the princess's dress, insomuch, 
that her hood and veil were twice or thrice blown off, on which 
she begged to retire to a gentleman's house, near the toad. 
This, we are told. Sir Henry Bedingfeld, who, perhaps, had 
some reason for his caution, would not permit; and it is 
added, that the royal prisoner was fain to retire behind the 
shelter of a hedge by the way-side to replace her head-gear 
and bind up her disordered tresses.^ 

When she arrived at Woodstock, instead of being placed in 
the royal apartments, she was lodged in the gatehouse of the 
palace, in a room which retained the name of " the Princess 
Elizabeth's chamber," till it was demolished in the year 17 14.* 
Holinshed has preserved the rude couplet which she wrote 
with a diamond on a pane of glass, in the window of this 

" Much suspected — of me, 
Nothing proved can be, 
Quoih Elizabeth, prisoner.*' 

Her confinement at Woodstock was no less rigorous than 
when she was in the Tower. Sixty soldiers were on guard all 
day, both within and without the quarter of the palace where 
she was in ward ; and forty kept watch within the walls all 
night; and though she obtained permission to walk in the 
gardens, it was under very strict regulations ; and five or six 
locks were made fast after her whenever she came within the 
appointed bounds for her joyless recreation. Although Sir 
Henry Bedingfeld has been very severely censured on account 

1 Holinshed « Fox. 

S By Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough, who had the ill-taste to destroy the last relic of 
this ancient abode of royalty, which had been hallowed by the historical recollections of 
six centuries, and the memory of Plantagenet, Tudor, and Stuart monarchs. 


by Google 

94 Elizabeth 

of these testraintSj and other passages of his conduct, with 
v^ard to the captive princess^ there is reason to believe that 
his harshness has been exaggerated, and that he had great cause 
to suspect that the ruthless party who thirsted for Elizabeth's 
blood, having been foiled in their eagerly expressed wish of 
seeing her brought to the block, were conspiring to take her 
off by murder. This he was determined should not be done 
while she was ia his charge. 

It is said, that once, having locked the garden-gates when 
Elizabeth was walkings she passionately upbraided him for it, 
and called him "her jailor;" on which he knelt to her,, 
beseeching her " not to give him that harsh name, for he was 
one of her officers appointed to serve her, and guard her front 
the dangers by which she was beset." ^ 

Among the incidents of Elizabeth's imprisonment, a mys^ 
terious tale is told of an attempt made by one Basset,, a 
creature of Gardiner, against her life, during the temporary 
absence of Sir Henry Bedingfeld. This Basset, it seems, had 
been, with five-and-twenty disguised ruffians, loitering with evil 
intentions at Bladenbridge, seeking to obtain access to the 
Lady Elizabeth, on secret and important business, as he pre- 
tended ; but Sir Henry had given such strict cautions to his 
brother, whom he left as deputy castellan in his absence, that, 
no one should approach the royal prisoner, that the project 
was defeated. Once, a dangerous fire broke out in the quarter 
of the palace where she was confined, which was kindled, 
apparently not by accident, between the ceiling of the room 
under her chamber and her chamber floor, by which her life 
would have been greatly endangered, had it not been provi- 
dentially discovered before she retired to rest.* The lofty 
spirit of Elizabeth, though unsubdued, was saddened by the 
perils and trials to which she was daily exposed, and in the 
bitterness of her heart she once expressed a wish to change 
fortunes with a milkmaid, whom she saw singing merrily over 
her pail, while milking the cows in Woodstock Park, for she 
said, " that milkmaid's lot was better than hers, and her life 
merrier." • 

It was doubtless while in this melancholy frame of mind 
that the following touching lines were composed by the royal 
captive, which have been preserved by Hentzner, with the 
interesting tradition that she wrote them on a shutter with a 
piece of charcoal, no doubt at a period when she was entirely 
deprived of pen and ink : — 

1 Heywood. « Speed. » Holinshed* Fox. 

_ Digitized by VjOOglC 

Elizabeth 95 

" Oh Fortune I how thy restless, watering. stAte 
Hath fraoght with cares my troubled wit, 
Witness this present prison, whither fate 

Could bear me, and the joys I quit^ 
Thou caus'dst the guilty to be loosed 
From bands wherein are- innocents enclosed^ 
Causing the guiltless to be strait reserved, 
And freeing those- that death had well deserved, 
Btit by her envy can be nothing wrought, 
So God send to my foes all they have wrought, 

** Quoth Elizabeth, Priscmer.? * 

She also composed some elegant Latin lines on tlie same 
subject, and when in a more heavenly frame of mind, inscribed 
the. following quaint but beautiful sentence in the blank leaf 
of a black-letter edition of the Epistles of St. Paul, which she 
used during her lonely imprisonment at Woodstock : — 

"August — I walk many times into the pleasant fields of the Holy 
Scriptures, where Ji pluck up the goodlisome herbes of sentences by 
pruning, eat them by reading, chew them by musing, and lay them up at 
length in the high seat of memoiie, by gathering uiem together, that so 
having tasted their sweetness I may the less perceive the bitterness of this 
miserable life." 

The volume is covered with devices m needle^work,, 
embroidered by the royal maiden, who was thea drinking 
deeply of the cup of ac^ersity, and thus solacing her weary 
hours in. holy and feminine employments. This interesting, 
rdic is preserved in the Bodleian library at Oxford. 

Needle-work, in which, like her accomplished stepmother. 
Queen Katharine Parr, and many other iEustrious ladies, 
Elizabeth, greatly excelled, was one of the resources with which 
she wiled away the weary hours of her imprisonment at Wood- 
stock, as we learn both by the existing devices wrought by her 
hand,, in gold thread on the cover of the volume, which has* 
just be^i described, and also from the following verses, by 
Taylor^ in his. poem in praise of the needle : — 

** When this great queen, whose memory shall not 

By any term <rf. time be overcast. 
For when the world and all therein shall rot. 

Yet shall her glorious fame for ever last. 
When she a maid had many troubles past, 

From jail to jail by Marie's angry spleen. 
And Woodstock and the Tower in prison fast. 

And after all was England's peerless queen. 
Yet howsoever sorrow came or went, 

She made the needle bee companion stiU 

^ Hentanei. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 



■ And in that exercise her time she spent, 
As many living yet do know her skill. 
Thus she was still a captive, or else crowned 
A needle- woman royal and renowned." 

The fate of Elizabeth was long a subject of discussion at the 
council-board of her royal sister, after her removal to the 
sequestered bowers of Woodstock. The base Paget had dared 
to assert, " that there would be no peace for England till her 
head were smitten from her shoulders." Yet Courtenay, who 
had been removed from the Tower to Fotheringay Castle, 
confessed to a person named Sellier, who conducted him to 
his new prison, that Paget had importuned him to marry the 
Lady Elizabeth, adding, " that if he did not, the son of the 
Earl of Arundel would, and that Hoby and Morison both, at 
the instigation of Paget, had practised with him touching that 
marriage." ^ 

On the 8th of June, Elizabeth was so ill, that an express was 
sent to the court, for two physicians to come to her assistance. 
They were sent, and continued in attendance upon her for 
several days, when youth and a naturally fine constitution 
enabled her to triumph over a malady that had, in all 
probability, been brought on by anxiety of mind. 

The physicians, on their return, made a friendly report of 
the loyal feelings of the princess towards the queen, which 
appears to have had a favourable effect on Mary's mind. 

" And now," says Camden, " the Princess Elizabeth, guiding 
herself like a ship in tempestuous weather, heard di^ane service 
after the Romish manner, was frequently confessed, and at the 
pressing instances of Cardinal Pole, and for fear of death, 
professed herself to be of the Roman Catholic religion." The 
queen, doubting her sincerity, caused her to be questioned as 
to her belief in transubstantiation, on which Elizabeth, being 
pressed to declare her opinion, as to the real presence of the 
Saviour in the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, replied in the 
following extempore lines : — 

** Christ was the word that spake it, 
He took the bread and brake it, 
And what his word did make it. 
That I believe, and take it," 

It was impossible for either Catholic or Protestant, to impugn 
the orthodoxy of this simple scriptural explanation of one of 
the sublimest mysteries of the Christian faith. It silenced the 

^ Renaud and Montmorencie's Reports to the emperor. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 97 

most subtle of her foes, at least they forebore to harass her, 
with questions on theological subjects. Dr. Storey, however, 
in one of his -fierce declamations against heretics, declared 
" that it was of little avail destroying the branches, as long as 
the root of all heresies," meaning the Princess Elizabeth, " were 
suffered to remain." ^ 

The delusive hopes which Queen Mary entertained in the 
autumn of that year, of bringing an heir to England, appear to 
have altered Elizabeth's position, even with her own party, for 
a time, and Philip, being desirous of pleasing the people of 
England, is supposed to have interceded with his consort for 
the liberation of all the prisoners in the Tower, also that he 
requested that his sister-in-law, the Princess Elizabeth, might 
be admitted to share in the Christmas festivities at Hampton 

She travelled from Woodstock under the charge of Sir 
Henry Bedingfeld, and rested the first night at Ricote.* The 
next she passed at the house of Mr. Dormer, at Winge, in 
Buckinghamshire, and from thence to an inn at Colnebrook, 
where she slept At this place she was met by the gentlemen 
and yoemen of her own household, to the number of sixty, 
" much to all their comforts," who had not seen her for several 
months ; they were not, however, permitted to approach near 
enough to speak to her, but were sdl commanded to return to 
London.* The next day she reached Hampton Court, and 
was ushered into the " prince's lodgings," but the doors were 
closed upon her and guarded, so that she had reason to 
suppose she was still to be treated as a prisoner. Soon after 
her arrival she was visited by Gardiner, and three other of the 
queen's Cabinet, whom, without waiting to hear their errand, 
she addressed in the following words: — 

** My lords, I am glad to see you, for methinks I have been 
kept a great while from you, desolately alone. Wherefore I 
would entreat you to be a means to the king's and queen's 
majesties, that I may be delivered from my imprisonment, in 
which I have been kept a long time, as to you, my lords, is not 
unknown." * 

Gardiner, in reply, told her "she must then confess her 
fault, and put herself on the queen's mercy." She replied, 
" that rather than she would do so, she would lie in prison all 
her life, that she had never offended against the queen, in 
thought, word, or deed, that she craved no mercy at her 
Majesty's hand, but rather desired to put herself on the '""^ '* 

1 Camden. * Warton. » Fox. * Ibid. 

Digitized by Vj(DOg iC 

98 Elizabeth 

The next day Gardiner and his colleagues came to hec a^n, 
and Gardiner told her on his knee, ** that the queen marvelled 
at her boldness in refusing to confess her o&nce, so that it 
might seem, as if her Majesty had wrongfully imprisoned her 

" Nay," replied Elizabeth, " she may, if it please her, punish 
me as she thinketh good." 

"Her Majesty willeth me to tell you," retorted Gardiner, 
" that you must tell another tale ere that you are set at liberty." 
Elizabeth replied, "that she had as lief be in prison^ with 
honesty, as to be abroad suspected of her Majesty," adding, 
"that which I have said I will stand ta" 

"Then," said Gardiner, "your Grace hath the vantage of me 
and these lords, for your long and wrongful imprisorunenL" 

" What advantage I have you know," ^ replied Elizabeth ; 
" I seek no vantage at your hands for your so dealing with me 
— but God forgive you and me* also." They then, finding no 
concessions were to be obtained from her, withdrew, and 
Elizabeth was left in close confinement for a week, at the end 
of which time she was startled by receiving a summons, to the 
queen's presence one night, at ten o'clock. Imagining herself 
in great danger, she bade her attendants " pray for her, for she 
could not tell whether she should ever see them again." * She 
was conducted to the queen's bedchamber, where the inter- 
view that has been related in the memoir of Queen Mary took 

It has always been said, that Philip of Spain was concealed 
behind a large screen, or the tapestry, to witness this meeting 
between the royal sisters, after their long estrangement. 
Historians have added, " that he was thus ambushed, in order 
to protect Elizabeth from the violeiice of the queen, if neces- 
sary," but there was no warrant for such an inference. Mary 
was never addicted to the use of striking arguments ] and 
Elizabeth, at that period of her life, knew how to restrain her 
lips from angry expletives, and her fingers from fighting. 
Philip's object, therefore, in placing himself perdu, could 
scarcely have been for the purpose of seeing fair play between 
the ladies, in the event of their coming to blows, as gravely 
insinuated by Fox and others, but rather, we should surmise, 
with the jealous intention of making himself acquainted with 
what passed between his consort and the heiress presumptive 
of England, against whose life, he and his father had, for the 
last fifteen months, practised with such determined malice, 

1 Fox. S Life of Qu«en Mary (S.> 

^^^ Digitized by VjOOglC 

Elizabeth 99 

that Philip ought to have been, as it appeared he really was, 
ashamed to look upon her for the first time face to &ce. Great 
confusion exists among historians, as to the year, in which this 
memorable interview took place, but there can be no doubt 
that it was in the autumn of 1554,^ because of the presence of 
Philip of Spain, and his friend Philibert of Savoy, who both 
graced the festivals of the English court, that Christmas and 
no other, and it is supposed, that one object of bringing 
Elizabeth into the royal circle, on this occasion, was to afiford 
the gallant Savoyard an opportunity of pleading his own cause 
to her in person. 

Philibe^ was not only invited to receive the hand of 
Elizabeth, but was actually inducted in her town residence, 
during his stay in London. " The prince is expected in four 
days," writes Noailles to his sovereign,^ "and apartments are 
prepared for him in Somerset House, which now belongs to 
the Lady Elizabeth." When he arrived he was so very ill from 
sea-sickness that he was obliged to stay at Dover fifteen days, 
to the great regret of the king and queen. 

At the brilliant Christmas-eve festival, Elizabeth appeared 
once more publicly in her sister's palace, as the second royal 
personage in the realm ; as such she took her place, both ast 
feasts and tournaments, before the assembled chivalry of 
England, Spain, and Flanders, in the presence of Alva, Egmont, 
Ruy Gomez, and other distinguished men, whose fame for good 
or evil expanded throughout Europe. Her own suitor, Phili- 
bert Emanuel, the most illustrious for worth and valour, was 
also present At this banquet, Elizabeth was seated at the 
queen's table — next the royal canopy or cloth of estate. After 
supper she was served by her former treacherous friend and 
cruel foe, Lord Pag^t, with a perfumed napkin and a plate of 
comfits. She retired, however, to her ladies, before the mask- 
ing and dancing began, perhaps to avoid any communication 
with her suitor, in the rejection of whose addresses (after events 
fully manifested) the queen supported her.^ It would have 
he&sk a more deadly blow to the Protestant interest of this 

I Noailles repeatedly wrote to France in the month of December that it was the wish 
of the king and queen to receive Elizabeth and Courtenay very soon publicly into favx)ur, 
and to set tbem at liberty directly afterwards, but that Gardiner put it off till after the 
dissolution of parliament. These notices corroborate the idea that the private recon- 
cififftion of the queen and her sister had previously taken place. Some weeks afterwards, 
ho declastts "that Courtenay was set at liberty, but as f<» Lady BUxabeth he can tell 
nothing certain about her." — Noailles, voL iv. pp. 8a, loi. 

3 Noeulles' Despatdies, voL iv. p» 361 

> See the translation of Mary's letter of remonstrance to her husband, Life of Mary (S.), 

' * " ' 1 the parliament, 

d by Google 

where the queen urges the unwillingness both of ho: sister and the parliament, to 
the marriagei and the inexpediency of contending against both. 

Digitized fc 

lOO Elizabeth 

country, than all the persecutions with which it was visited in 
the succeeding years of Mary's reign, had Elizabeth, while yet 
her character was flexible, married this great man. In this 
case, as may be gathered from his matrimonial felicity with 
Margaret of Valois, the intellectual daughter of Francis I., the 
personal character and happiness of Elizabeth would have been 
improved, but England might have remained, if we may judge 
from the slavish devotion of the era to the religion of their 
monarch, a Roman Catholic country. The extreme beauty 
and grace of Courtenay's person, perhaps rendered Elizabeth 
indifferent to the addresses of Philibert Emanuel. 

On St. Stephen's Day, Elizabeth heard matins in the queen's 
closet, in the chapel-royal, on which occasion she was attired in 
a style of almost bridal elegance, wearing a robe of rich white 
satin, passamented all over with large pearls. At the tourna- 
ment, on the 29th of December, she sat with their Majesties in 
the royal gallery to witness the grand, but long-delayed pageant 
of the jousting, in honour of her sister's nuptials. Two hun- 
dred spears were broken on this occasion, by the cavaliers of 
Spain and Flanders, attired in their national costume.* 

The great respect with which Elizabeth was treated at this 
period, by the principal personages in the realm, can scarcely 
be more satisfactorily proved, than by the following account, 
which Fox narrates of a dispute between one of her servants 
and an ill-mannered tradesman about the court, who had said, 
"that jilt, the Lady Elizabeth, was the real cause of Wyat's 
rising." * The princess's man cited the other before the ecclesi- 
astical court, to answer for his scandalous language, and there 
expressed himself as follows : — " I saw yesterday, at court, that 
my Lord Cardinal Pole, when meeting the princess in the 
presence-chamber, kneeled down and kissed her hand ; and I 
saw also, that King Philip, meeting her, made her such obeis- 
ance, that his knee touched the ground ; and then methinketh 
it were too much to suffer such a varlet as this, to call her jilt, 
and to wish them to hop headless,^ that shall wish her Grace 
to enjoy possession of the crown, when God shall send it unto 
her in right of inheritance." 

" Yea," quoth Bonner, who was then presiding, " when God 
sendeth it unto her, let her enjoy it." However, the reviler of 
Elizabeth was sent for, and duly reproved for his misbehaviour. 

Elizabeth failed not to avail herself of every opportunity of 
paying her court to her royal brother-in-law,^ with whom she 

1 Cotton MS.. Vitell. f. 

« Fox's Martyrology, book 3rd, folio 774. » Michel^'s Reports. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth loi 

was on very riendly terms, although she would not comply 
with his earnest wish, of her becoming the wife of hrs friend 
and ally, Philibert of Savoy. • i . 

The period of Elizabeth's return to Woodstock is doubtful ; 1 • 

but it does not appear that she was under any pafticular ] 

restraint there, for she had all her own people about her,; and 
early in the spring, 1555, some of the members of her house- ' 

hold were accused of practising, by enchantment, against the 
queen's life. Elizabeth had ventured to divert her loneiy 
sojourn in the royal bowers of Woodstock, by secret consulta- 
tions with a cunning clerk of Oxford, one John Dee (afterwards 
celebrated, as an astrologer and mathematician, throughout j 

Europe,) and who, by his pretended skill in divination, acquired 1 

an influence over the strong mind of that learned and clear- j 

headed princess, which he retained as long as she lived.^ A j 

curious letter of news from Thomas Martin of London, to ] 

Edward Courtenay, Earl of Devonshire, then travelling in Italy, 
was lately discovered at the State Paper Office, which was 
doubtless intercepted ; and considering to whom it was written, 
and the facts, in which Elizabeth's name is implicated, it must 
be regarded as a document of no common interest. " In Eng- 
land," says he, " all is quiet ; such as wrote traitorous letters 
into Germany be apprehended, as likewise others, that did cal- 
culate the king's, the queen's, and my Lady Elizabeth's nativity, 
whereof one Dee, and Gary, and Butler, and one other of 
my Lady Elizabeth's, are accused, that they should have a 
familiar spirit, which is the more suspected, for that Ferys, one 
of their accusers had, immediately on the accusation, both of 
his children stricken — the one with death, the other with 

Carey and Butler were both related to Elizabeth, by her 
maternal lineage, and Dee had obtained access to her, through 
his relationship and intimacy with her confidential servants, 
the Parrys. Elizabeth escaped a public implication in the 
charge of these occult practices; her household were faithful to 
her ; but it was probably the cause of her removal from Wood- 
stock, and of her being once more conducted as a prisoner of 
state to Hampton Court, which, according to most authorities, 
she was, a second time, April 1555.^ 

It has been generally said, that she was indebted for her 
liberation to the good offices of her brother-in-law, Philip of 

1 Godwin's Lives of the Necromancers, J. Dee. Likewise Diary of John Dee, edited \ 

by J. O. Halliwell, Esq., F.A.S., for the Camden Society. 

S Aikin ; Turner ; Warton ; Rapin ; Burnet. ^^.^.^^^ ^^ GoOglc 

I02 Elizabeth 

Spain,^ wh'oj when he found himsdf disappointed in his hopes 
of an beir,to England by Queen Mary, and perceived on how 
precarious a thread her existence hung, became fully aware of 
die <Yakid of Elizabeth's life, as the sole barrier to the ultimate 
repti^tion of Mary, Queen of Scots and Dauphiness of 
Eratice, as Queen of Great Britain. To prevent so dangerous 
a preponderancy in the balance of power from falling to his 
political rival, the monarch of France, he wisely determined 
that Elizabeth's petty misdemeanours should be winked at, and 
* the queen finally gave her permission to reside once more in 
royal state, at her own favourite abode, Hatfield House, in 
Hertfordshire. At parting, Mary placed a ring on the prin- 
cess's finger, to the value of seven huriSred crowns, as a pledge 
of amity. 

It was not, however, Mary's intention to restore Eliza- 
beth so entirely to liberty, as to leave her the unrestrained 
mistress of her own actions, and Sir Thomas Pope was 
entrusted with the responsible office of residing in her 
house, for the purpose of restraining her from intriguing with 
suspected persons, either abroad or at home. Veiling the inti- 
mation of her sovereign will under the semblance of a courteous 
recommendation, Mary presented this gentleman to Elizabeth, 
as an officer who was henceforth to reside in her family, and 
who would do his best to render her and her household com- 
fortable.* Elizabeth, to whom Sir Thomas Pope was already 
well known, had the tact to take this in good part. She had 
ndeed reason to rejoice that her keeper, while she remained as 
a state prisoner at large, was a person of such honourable and 
fiiendly conditions, as this learned and worthy gentleman. 
The fetters in which he held her were more like flowery 
wreaths flung lightly round her, to attach her to a bower of 
royal pleasaunce, .than aught which might remind her of the 
stem restraints, by which she was surrounded, during her incar- 
ceration in the Tower, and her subsequent abode at Wood- 
stock in the summer and autumn of 1554. There is reason 
to believe, that she did not take her final departure from the 
court till late in the autumn. It is certain, that she came by 
water to meet the queen her sister and Philip, at Greenwich, 
for the purpose of taking a personal farewell of him, at his 
embarkation for Flanders. 

Elizabeth did not, however, make one in the royal proces- 
sion, when Queen Mary went through the city in an open 

1 Speed ; Burnet ; Rapin ; Lingard ; Aikin : Camden. 

S Heywood's England s Elizabeth. Warton's Life of Sir Thomas Pope. 

Digitized by VjOOg IC 

Elizabeth 103 

Ktter, in order to shew herself to the people, who had long 
believed her to be dead. At this very time Elizabeth passed to 
Greenwich by water, and shot London Bridge in a shabby 
barge, very ill appointed, attended by only four damsels and 
three gentlemen. With all this the people were much dis- 
pleased, as they supposed it was contrived, that they might not 
see the princess, which they greatly desired.^ During King 
Philip's absence he manifested a great interest in the welfare of 
Elizabeth, whether personal or political it is not so easy to 
ascertain. Her vanity led her to believe that her brother-in-law 
was in love with her, and much she boasted of the same in 
after life. Meantime he wrote many letters to his wife, Queen 
Mary, and to some Spanish grandees, resident at the English 
court, commending Elizabeth to their kindness. She made 
many visits to the queen, and went to mass every day, besides 
iksting with her very sedulously, in order to qualify themselves, 
for the reception of the Pope's pardon, and to fit them for the 
benefits of the jubilee, which he had granted.^ 

Altogether Elizabeth appeared to be fairly in her sister's 
good graces ; nor did Mary ever betray the least personal jeal- 
ousy, respecting King Philip's regard for her sister. Yet con- 
temporaries, and even Elizabeth herself, after the queen's 
death, had much to say on the subject, attributing to him 
partiality beyond the due degree of brotherhood ; insomuch, 
that, many years subsequently, Thomas Cecil, the eldest son 
of Lord Burleigh, repeated at Elizabeth's court, that King 
Philip had been heard to say, af^er his return to Spain, " That 
whatever he suffered from Queen Elizabeth was the just judg- 
ment of God^Jbecause, being married to Queen Mary, whom 
he thougHfto be a most virtuous and good lady, yet in the 
fancy of love he could not affect her; but as for the Lady 
Elizabeth, he was enamoured of her, being a fair and beautiful 



When^ Elizabeth took her final departure from London to 
Hatfield that autumn, October i8th, the people crowded to 
obtain a^ sight of her; " great and small," says Noailles, "fol- 
lowed her through the city, and greeted her with acclamations 
and such vehement manifestations of affection, that she was 
fearful it would expose her to the jealousy of the court, and 
with her wonted exercise of caution she fell back behind some 
of the officers in her train, as if unwilling to attract public 

1 M. de NoMlles' Despatches from England, vol. v. pp. 84, 126, 127 ; August 26, 1555. 

S Strype, and Miss Aiken. 

* Bbnop Goodman in his Court of James, vol. i. p. 4. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

I04 Elizabeth 

attention and applause." At Hatfield she was permitted to 
surround herself, with her old acx:ustomed train of attached 
servants, among whom were, her beloved governess, Mrs. 
Katharine Ashley, her husband, the Parrys, and last, not least, 
her learned preceptor Roger Ascham, who had obtained the 
preferment of Latin secretary to her sister the queen, and was 
permitted to visit and resume his instructions to Elizabeth, 
who, in her twenty-second year, was better qualified than ever, 
to make the most of the advantages she enjoyed under such 
an instructor. On the 14th of September, 1555, Ascham-*- 
wrote to his friend Sturmius — " From MetuUus ^ you will learn 
what my most noble Elizabeth is. He will tell you," pursues 
Ascham, "how much she excels in Greek, Italian, Latin,. and 
French, also her knowledge of things in general, and with 
what a wise and accurate judgment she is endowed/*^ He 
added, " that Metullus thought it more to have seen Elizabeth 
than to have seen England. The Lady Elizabeth and I," pur- 
sues Ascham, " are reading together in Greek the orations of 
Eschines and Demosthenes ; she reads before me ; and at 
first sight she so learnedly comprehends, not only the idiom 
of the language and the meaning of the orator, but the whole 
grounds of contention, — the decrees, and the customs and 
manners of the people, as you would greatly wonder to hear." 
Again, in a conversation with Aylmer, on the subject of the 
talents and attainments of the princess, he said, " I teach her 
words and she me, things. I teach her the tongues to speak, 
and her modest and maidenly looks teach me works to do,^ 
for I think she is the best disposed of any in all EuropeJL; 
Castiglione, an Italian master, added, "that Elizabeth pos-^ 
sessed two qualities that were seldom united in one woman — 
namely, a singular wit, and a marvellous meek stomach."^ 
He was, however, the only person, who ever gave the royal 
lioness of the Tudor line, credit for the latter quality, and very 
probably intended to speak of her affability, but mistook the 
meaning of the word. 

According to Noailles, the queen paid Elizabeth a visit at 
Hatfield, more than once, this autumn, and yet soon after, it 
appears, when Elizabeth had removed to another of her houses 
in Hertfordshire, that two of her Majesty's officers arrived with 
orders to take Mrs. Katharine Ashley, and three of Elizabeth's 
maids of honour, into custody, which they actually did, and 

1 This was a learned foreigner, who was indebted to Ascham, for an introduction to the 
princess, with whom he had the nonour of conversing. 
3 Ascham's Epistles, p. 51. * Strype's Life of Aylmer. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 105 

lodged Mrs. Ashley in the Fleet prison, and the other ladies in 
the Tower.i The cause of this extraordinary arrest has never 
been satisfactorily explained. Speed openly attributes it to the 
hostility of Gardiner ; and Miss Aikin, taking the same view, 
observes, " that it was a last expiring effort of his indefatigable 
malice against Elizabeth." He died on the 12th of November. 
When, however, the intriguing disposition of Mrs. Ashley is 
remembered, and that it was on the eve of the abortive attempt 
of Sir Henry Dudley to raise a fresh insurrection in England, 
in favour of Elizabeth and Courtenay, and that several of the 
princess's household were actually implicated in the plot, it is 
more natural to suppose, that she and the other ladies had 
been accused of carrying on a treasonable correspondence 
with the confederates. Elizabeth had the prospect of a new 
royal suitor at this period, for a report was prevalent, when 
the Archduke of Austria came to visit his kinsman, Philip II., 
at Brussels, December 1555, that his intention was to propose 
for her hand ; as for her former lover, Philibert Emanuel, of 
Savoy, he had committed himself both with Philip and Eliza- 
beth, having been seen making love from his window to the 
fair Duchess of Lorraine, Christina of Denmark ; * and for the 
present the princess had a respite from his unwelcome addresses. 
The respectful and kind attention which Elizabeth received 
from Sir Thomas Pope, during her residence under his friendly 
surveillance at Hatfield, is testified by the following passage 
in a contemporary chronicle : * — " At Shrovetide, Sir Thomas 
Pope made for the Lady Elizabeth, all at his own cost, a grand 
and rich masking in the great hall at Hatfield, where the 
pageants were marvellously furnished. There were there 
twelve minstrels antiquely disguised, with forty-six or more 
gentlemen and ladies, many knights, nobles, and ladies of 
honour, apparelled in crimson satin, embroidered with wreaths 
of gold, and garnished with borders of hanging pearl. There 
was the device of a castle, of cloth of gold, set with pome- 
granates about the battlements, with shields of knights hang- 
ing therefrom, and six knights in rich harness tourneyed. At 
night, the cupboard in the hall was of twelve stages, mainly 
furnished with garnish of gold and silver vessels, and a ban- 
quet of seventy dishes, and after a void^ of spices and subtleties, 
with thirty spice plates, all at the charge of Sir Thomas Pope ; 
and the next day, the play of Holofemes. But the queen, 
percast^ misliked these follies, as by her letters to Sir Thomas 

1 Speed. Aikin. » Koailles. ^ , 

1 Ms. Cotton. Vitell., f.s- ,,,,, by GoOglc 

io6 Elizabeth 

Pope did appear, and so these disguisings were ceased." The 
reason of Mary's objection to these pageants and public 
entertainments, was probably on account of the facility they 
afforded for the admission of strangers and emissaries from 
the King of France, or the foreign ambassadors, with whom 
Elizabeth and her partisans had been so frequently suspected 
of intriguing. 

The spring and summer of 1556 were agitated by a series 
of new plots by the indefatigable conspirators, who made 
Elizabeth's name the rallying point of their schemes of insur- 
rection, and this whether she consented or not It was ex- 
tremely dangerous for her, that persons of her household were 
always involved in these attempts. In the conspiracy, between 
the King of France and Sir Henry Dudley, to depose Mary 
and raise Elizabeth to the throne, two of Elizabeth's ehieif 
officers were deeply engaged; these men, Peckham and 
Weme, were tried and executed. Their confessions, as usual, 
implicated Elizabeth, who, it is asserted, owed her life to the 
interposition of King Philip;^ likewise, it is said that he 
obliged Mary to drop all inquiry in^to her guilt, and to give out 
that she believed Peckham and Weme had made use of the 
name of their mistress without her authority. Moreover, Mary 
sent her a ring in token of her amity. That Mary did so 
is probable, but that she acted on compulsion and against her 
inclination is scarcely consistent with a letter concerning the 
next insurrection, which took place in June, a few weeks after, 
tn which Elizabeth was actually proclaimed queen. A young 
man named Cleobury, who was extremely like the Earl of 
Devonshire, landed on the coast of Sussex, as if that noble had 
returned from exile, and proclaimed Elizabeth queen and him- 
self king, as Edward Earl of Devonshire and her husband. 
This scene took place in Yaxely Church, but the adventurer 
was immediately seized, and in the September following, was 
executed for treason at Bury. This insurrection was com- 
municated to Elizabeth by a letter from the hand of Queen 
Mary herself; a kind one it may be gathered from the follow- 
ing answer still extant, where, amidst Elizabeth's laboured and 
contorted sentences, this fact may be elicited by the reader. 

' Lmgard, p. 9x9, vol. vH., who quotes from the MS. Life of the Duchess of Feria 
<Jan« D^rmerX hut wheii the Duchess of Fem. wrote^ die was living in Spain, die suhject 
of Philip II., and had been deu» in the Ridolphi plot for Mary Queen of Scoti^ and at 

I of Feria wrote^ die was living in Spain, the subj 

^ __-, , he Ridolphi plot for Mary Queen of Scoti^ and „ 

that tune» it was Dart of the policy of Philip's advocates^ to reproach Elizabeth with in- 
gratitade to him tor having presented her life from her sister, which SKzabetfi aamestly 
and oflScially denied. A letter of the Duchess of Feria from Spain, on family matters, 
forms an faiteresting portion of the Stradling Correspondence, edited by the Rev. M. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 107 

Princess Elkabbth to Qubkn Mary.* 

"Aagust a, 1556. 

•'When I revolve in mind (most noble queen) the old love of paynims to 
their princes, and the reverent fear of the Romans to their senate, I cannot 
but muse for my part and blush for theirs, to see the rebellions hearts and 
devilish intents of Christians in namne, but Jews in deed, towards their 
anointed king, whidi methinks if they bad feared God, (though they could ! 

not have loved the state) they should for the dread of their own plague, 
have refrained that wickedness, which their bounden duty to your Majesty 
had not restrained. But when I call to remembrance that the devil, |, 

tamquam ho rtigUm Hrcumvit quarens gudm devorart potest, like a roaring 
lion goeth about seeking whom he may devour. I do the less marvel that | 

he {fhe devil) have gotten such novices into his professed house, as vessels j 

(without God's grace) more apt to serve his {tkf devits) palace than meet | 

to inhabit English land. I am the bolder to call them {Mary's rebels) his j 

imps, for that St. Paul saith, seditiosi sunt filii diaboli, the seditious are ; 

sons of the devil ; and since I have so good a buckler, I fear less to enter 
into their judgment 

"Of this I assure your Majesty, it had been my part, above the rest, to 
bewail such things, though my name had not been in them, yet much it 
vexed me, that the devil oweth me such a hate, as to put in any part of his 
mischievous instigations, whom, as I profess him my foe, (that is, all 
Christians' enemy,) so wish I he had some other way invented to 
spite me. 

**^But since it hath pleased God thus to bewray their {the insurgents^) 
mafice, I nK)st humbly thank him, both that he has ever thus preserved your 
Majesty through his aid, much like a lamb from the horns of this Basan's 
bull {tk4 devil) J and also stined.up the hearts of your loving subjects to resist 
them, and deliver you to his honour and their ^ {the insurgent^) shame. 
The intelligence of which, proceeding from your Majesty, deserves more 
humble thanks than with my pen I can render, which as inifiiiite I will leave 
to number {u «., wUl not attempt to uumder), 

** And amcmgst earthly things I chiefly wish this one, that there were as 
good surgeons for making anatomies of hearts (that I might shew my thoughts 
to your Majesty) as there are expert physicians of bodies, able to express 
the inwicrd griefs of maladies to their patients. For then I doubt not, bift 
know weU^ that whatever others should subject by malice, yet your Majesty 
should be sure, by knowledge, that the more such mists render effuscate the 
clear light of my soul, the more my tried thoughts should listen to the 
dimming of their (the insurgents') hidden malice.* 

" But since wishes are vain and desires oft fail, I must crave that my 
deeds may supply that, which my thoughts cannot declare, and that they be 
not misdeemed, as the facts have been so well tried. And like as I have 
been your faithful subject from the beginning of your reign, so shall no 
wicked person cause me to change to the end of my lire. And thus I 
commend your Majesty to God's tuition, whom I beseech long time to 

1 Lmsdown MSS., «a36, p. 37^ ... 

a Elizabeth evidently means the'iasurgents shame; by grammatical construction it 
would be the loving^ sufy'ects'. Her letters of vindication, by reason of the perpetual 
confusion of the relatives, aie difficult to read. ... I 

» Either the insurgents, or the deviFs imps, or the physicians ; which of them this I 

relative refers to, is not clear. r^^^^^T^ 

Digitized by VjOO^ IVi 

io8 Elizabeth 

preserve, ending with the new remembrance of my old suit,^ more than for 
that I should not be forgotten, than for I think it not remembered. 
** From Hatfield, the 2nd of August 

" Your Majesty's obedient subject and humble sister, 


Her Majesty was happily satisfied with the painfully 
elaborate and metaphorical protestations of innocence and 
loyalty contained in this letter, and the princess continued in 
the gentle keeping of Sir Thomas Pope. He appears to have 
been really fond of his royal charge, who for her part well knew 
how to please him by her learned and agreeable conversation, 
and more especially by frequently talking with him, on the 
subject nearest to his heart, Trinity College, which he had 
just founded at Oxford, for a president priest and twelve 
fellows. He mentions in one of his letters, with peculiar satis- 
faction, the interest she manifested in his college. "The 
Princess Elizabeth,*' says he, "often asketh me about the 
course I have devised for my scholars, and that part of my 
statutes respecting study I have shewn her she likes well. She 
is not only gracious, but most learned, ye right well know.*' 

Two of the fellows of this college were expelled by the 
president and society for violating one of the statutes. They 
repaired in great tribulation to their founder, and, acknowledg- 
ing their fault, implored most humbly for re-admittance to his 
college. Sir Thomas Pope, not liking by his own relentings, to 
countenance the infringements of the laws he had made for the 
good government of his college, yet willing to extend the pardon 
that was solicited, kindly referred the matter to the decision of 
the princess, who was pleased to intercede for the culprits, that 
they might be restored to their fellowships, on which the 
benevolent knight wrote to the president,^ " that although the 
two offenders, Sympson and Rudde, had well deserved their 
expulsion from his college, yet at the desire and commandment 
of the Lady Elizabeth's grace, seconded by the request of his 
wife, he had consented that they should, on making a public 
confession of their fault, and submitting to a fine, be again 
received, and that it should be recorded in a book that they 
had been expelled, and that it was at the Lady Elizabeth's and 
his wife's desire that they were re-admitted, and that he was 
fully resolved never to do the like again to please any creature 
living, the queen's majesty alone excepted." This letter bears 
date August 22, 1556. 

1 Some favour she had previously asked ; this proves the queen was in familiar 
correspondence with her. 
■ Warton's Life of Sir Thomas Pope. ^ I 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 109 

In the following November, Elizabeth, having been honoured 
with an invitation to her sister's court, came to London in 
state. Her entrance and the dress of her retinue, are thus 
quaintly recorded by a contemporary: "The 28th day of 
November, came riding through Smithfield and Old Baily, and 
through Fleet Street unto Somerset Place, my good Lady 
Elizabeth's grace, the queen's sister, with a great company of 
velvet coats and chains, her Grace's gentlemen, and after, a 
great company of her men, all in red coats, guarded with a 
broad guard of black velvet and cuts " ^ (slashes). 

Elizabeth found herself treated with so many flattering marks 
of attention, by the nobility as well as the commons, whose 
darling she always had been, that she assembled a sort of court 
around her, and determined to settle herself in her town resi- 
dence for the winter. She was, however, assailed by the 
council, at the instance of her royal brother-in-law, with a 
renewal of the persecution she had undergone in favour of her 
persevering suitor, Philibert of Savoy, The imperial ambassa- 
dors had been very urgent with the queen on the subject, and 
Elizabeth found she had only been sent for in order to conclude 
the mamage treaty. The earnestness with which this was 
pushed on, immediately after the death of Courtenay, naturally 
favours the idea that a positive contract of marriage had sub- 
sisted between that unfortunate nobleman and the princess, 
which had formed a legal impediment to her entering into any 
other matrimonial engagement during his life. She was, how- 
ever, positive in her rejection of the Duke of Savoy's hand, 
though, as before, she protested her unalterable devotion to a 
maiden life, as the reason of her refusal.^ After this decision 
she was compelled to give up the hope of spending a festive 
Christmas in London, and the Cottonian MS.s records her 
departure, after the brief sojourn of one week, in these 
words :— r 

" On the third day of September came riding from her place 
(Somerset House) my Lady Elizabeth's grace, from Somerset 
Place, down Fleet Street and through Old Baily and Smithfield, 
and so her Grace took her way towards Bishop Hatfldd." 

Such was the disgust that Elizabeth had conceived during 
her late visit to court, or the apprehensions that had been 
excited by the intimidation used by the Spanish party, that 
she spears to have contemplated the very impolitic step, of 
secretly withdrawing from the realm, that was so soon to 
become her own, and taking refuge in France. Henry IL had 

1 MS. CottoD., (s* ^ Warton ; Aikia; ^ . I Vitell., f. s- 

1 10 Elizabeth 

never ceased urging her by his wily agent Noailles to accept an 
asylum in his court, doubtless with the intention of securing 
the only person who, in the event of Queen Mary's death, 
would stand between his daughter-in-law and the crown of 
England. Noailles had, however, interfered in so unseemly a 
manner in the intrigues and plots that agitated England, that 
he had been recalled, and superseded in his office by his 
brother, the Bishop of Acqs, a man of better principles, and 
who scrupled to become a party in the iniquitous scheme of 
deluding a young and inexperienced princess to her own ruin. 
With equal kindness and sincerity this worthy ecclesiastic told 
the Countess of Sussex, when she came to him secretly in 
disguise, to ask his assistance in conveying the Lady Elizabeth 
to France, " that it was an unwise project, and that he would 
advise the princess to take example by the conduct of her sister, 
who, if she had listened to the counsels of those who would 
have persuaded her to take refuge with the emperor, would 
still have remained in exile.*' The countess returned again 
to him on the same errand, and he then plainly told her, "that 
if ever Elizabeth hoped to ascend the throne of England, she 
must never leave the realm." A few years later he declared 
" that Elizabeth was indebted to him for her crown." Whatever 
might be the cloud that had darkened the prospects of the 
princess, at the period when she had cherished intentions so 
fatal to her own interests, it quickly disappeared, and on the 
25th of February, 1557, she came from her house at Hatfield 
to » London, ** attended by a noble company of lords and 
gentlemen, to do her duty to the queen, and rested at Somerset 
House till the 28th, when she repaired to her Majesty at White- 
hall with many lords and ladies."^ Again :" c«ne ^noming in 
March the Lady Elizabeth took her horse and rode to the palace 
of Sh«ie, with a goodly company of lords, ladies, knights and 
gentlemen." These visits were probably on account of the 
return of Philip of Spain, which restored the queen to un- 
wonted cheerfulness for a time, and caused a brief interval of 
gaiety in the lugubrious court 

We are indebted to the lively pen of Giovanni Michele, the 
Venetian ambassador,^ for the following graphic sketch of the 
person aaid character of Elizabeth, at this interesting period of 
her life. '* Mi/adi Elizabeth," says he, "is a lady of great 
elegance, both of body and mind, though her face may be 

1 MS. Cotton. >^teIL 

> From the report, made by that envoy, of the state of England, on his return to hU 
own country, in the year 1557. MS& Cotton. Nero B. 7. Eliis. and series, vol. ii. 

^^^ Digitized by VjOOglC 

Elizabeth 1 1 1 

called pleasing rather than beautiful. She is tall and well 
made, her complexion fine, though rather sallow." Her bloom 
must have been prematurely faded by sickness and anxiety ; 
for Elizabeth could not have been more than three and twenty 
at this period. "Her eyes, but above all, her hands, which 
she takes care not to conceal, are of superior beauty. In her 
knowledge of the Greek and Italian languages, she surpasses 
the queen, and takes so much pleasure in the latter, that she 
will converse with Italians in no other tongue. Her wit and 
understanding are admind)le, as she has proved by her 
conduct in the midst of suspicion and danger, when she con- 
cealed her religion, and comported herself like a good Catholic." 
Katharine Parr and Lady Jane Gray made no such compromise 
with' conscience ; indeed, this dissimulation on the part of 
Elizabeth appears like a practical illustration of the text, " the 
children of this world are wiser in their generation than the 
children of light.'' Michele proceeds to describe Elizabeth 
" as proud and dignified in her manners ^ for though she is well 
aware what sort of a mother she had, she is also aware that diis 
mother of hers was united to the king in wedlock, with the 
sanction of Holy Church, and the concurrence of the primate 
of the realm." This remark is important, as it proves that the 
marriage of Anne Boleyn was considered legal by the repre- 
s^itative of the Catholic republic of Venice. However, he 
goes on to say, "The queen, though she hates her most 
sincerely, yet treats her in public with every outward sign of 
affection and regard, and never converses with her, but on 
pleasing and agreeable subjects." A proof, by the bye, that 
Mary neither annoyed her sister by talking at her, nor en- 
deavoured to irritate her by introducing the elements of strife 
into their personal discussions when they were together. In 
this, the queen, at least, behaved with the courtesy of a gentle- 
woman. Michele adds, " that the princess had contrived to 
ingratiate herself with the King of Spain, through whose 
influence the queen was prevent^ -from having her declared 
illegitimate, as she had it in her power to do, by an act of 
parliament, which would exclude her from the throne. It is 
believed," continues he, " that but for this interference of the 
king, the queen would, without remorse, chastis6 her wi the 
severest manner; for whatever plots against the queen are 
discovered, my Lady Elizabeth, or some of her people, are 
always sure to be mentioned among the persons concerned in 
them." Michele tells us, moreover, "that Elizabeth would 
exceed her income and incur lai^e debts, if she did not 

1 1 2 Elizabeth 

prudently, to avoid increasing the jealousy of the queen, limit 
her household and followers, for," continues he, " there is not 
a lord or gentleman in the realm, who has not sought to place 
himself, or a brother, or son, in her service. Her expenses 
are naturally increased by her endeavours to maintain her 
popularity, although she opposes her poverty as an excuse for 
avoiding the proposed enlargements of her establishment." 
This plea answered another purpose, by exciting the sympathy 
of her people, and their indignation, that the heiress of the 
crown should suffer from straitened finances. Elizabeth was, 
nevertheless, in the enjoyment of the income her father had 
provided for her maintenance — three thousand pounds a year, 
equal to twelve thousand per annum of the present currency, 
and precisely the same allowance which Mary had before her 
accession to the crown. 

" She is," pursues Michele, " to appearance, at liberty in her 
country residence, twelve miles from London, but really sur- 
rounded by spies and shut in with guards, so that no one 
comes or goes, and nothing is spoken or done without the 
queen's knowledge." Such is the testimony of the Venetian 
ambassador, of Elizabeth's position in her sister's court, but it 
should be remembered that he is the same man, who had 
intrigued with the conspirators to supply them with arms, and 
that his information is avowedly only hearsay evidence. After 
this, it may not be amiss to enrich these pages with the account 
given by an English contemporary of one of the pageants that 
were devised for her pleasure, by the courteous dragon by whom 
the captive princess was guarded, in her own fair mansion of 
Hatfield and other domains adjacent.^ 

"In April, the same year, (1557,) she was escorted from 
Hatfield to Enfield Chase, by a retinue of twelve ladies, clothed 
in white satin, on ambling palfireys, and twenty yeomen in 
green, all on horseback, that her Grace might hunt the hart. 
At entering the chase or forest, she was met by fifty archers in 
scarlet boots and yellow caps, armed with gilded bows ; one of 
whom presented her a silver-headed arrow winged with 
peacock's feathers. Sir Thomas Pope had the devising of this 
show. At the close of the sport, her Grace was gratified with 
the privilege of cutting the buck's throat," — a compliment of 
which Elizabeth, who delighted in bear-baitings and other 
savage amusements of those semi-barbarous days, was not un- 
likely to avail herself. When her sister, Queen Mary, visited 
her at Hatfield, Elizabeth adorned her great state chamber for 

I MS. Cottoo. VitelL f. 5. Strype. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 113 

her Majesty's reception, with a sumptuous suit of tapestry, 
representing the Siege of Antioch ; and after supper a play was 
performed by the choir-boys of St. Paul's ; when it was over, 
one of the children sang, and was accompanied on the virginals 
by no meaner musician than the Princess Elizabeth herself.^ 
The account of Elizabeth's visit to the queen at Richmond, 
and the splendid banquet and pageant which Mary, with the 
assistance of Sir Thomas Pope, with whom her Majesty was 
long in consultation on the subject, devised for the entertain- 
ment of her sister, has been described in the life of Queen 

The pleasant and sisterly intercourse, which was for a brief 
time established between these royal ladies, was destined to be 
once more interrupted, by the pertinacious interference of King 
Philip^ in favour of his friend's matrimonial suit for Elizabeth. 
Her hand was, probably, the reward with which that- monarch 
had promised to guerdon his brave friend, for his good services 
at St. Quentin, but the gallant Savoyard found that it was 
easier to win a battle in the field, under every disadvantage, 
than to conquer the determination of an obdurate lady love. 
Elizabeth would not be disposed of in marriage to please any 
one, and as she made her refusal a matter of conscience, the 
queen ceased to importune her on the subject. Philip, as we 
have seen, endeavoured to compel his reluctant wife, to inter- 
pose her authority, to force Elizabeth to fulfil the engagement 
he had made for her, and Mary proved, that she had, on 
occasion, a will of her own as well as her sister. In short, the 
ladies made common cause, and quietly resisted his authority.^ 
He had sent his two noble kinswomen, the Duchesses of 
Parma and Lorraine, to persuade Elizabeth to comply with his 
desire, and to convey her to the continent, as the bride elect 
of his fiiend, but Elizabeth, by her sister's advice, declined 
receiving these fair envoys, and they were compelled to return 
without fulfilling the object of their mission. 

Meantime, Elizabeth received several overtures from the 
ambassador of the great Gustavus Vasa, King of Sweden, who 
was desirous of obtaining her in marriage for his eldest son, 
Prince Eric' She declined listening to this proposal, because 
it was not made to her through the medium of the queen her 
sister. The ambassador told her, in reply, " that the King of 
Sweden, his master, as a gentleman and a man of honour, thought 

1 MS. Cotton. VitelL t 5. 

B See Mary's Life (S.). 

' Camden. Warton's Life of Pop*. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

114 Elizabeth 

it most proper to make the first application to herself, in order 
to ascertain whether it would be agreeable to her to enter into 
such an alliance, and if she signified her consent, he would 
then, as a king, propose it in due form to her Majesty.*' This 
delicacy of feeling was in unison with the chivalric character 
of Gustavus Vasa, who having delivered his country from a 
foreign yoke, had achieved the reformation of her Church with- 
out persecution or bloodshed, and regarding Elizabeth as a 
Protestant princess who was suffering for conscience' sake, was 
nobly desirous of making her his daughter-in-law. Elizabeth, 
however, who had previously rejected the heir of his neighbour, 
Christian of Denmark, desired the Swedish envoy to inform his 
master *'that she could not listen to any proposals of the kind 
that were not conveyed to her through the queen's authority," 
and at the same time declared, ^* that if left to her own free will 
she would always prefer a maiden life." This affair reaching 
her Majesty's ears, she sent for Sir Thomas Pope to court, and 
having received from him a full account of this secret trans- 
action, she expressed herself well pleased with the wise and 
dutiful conduct of Elizabeth, and directed him to write a letter 
to her expressive of her approbation. When Sir Thomas Pope 
returned to Hatfield,. Mary commanded him to repeat her 
commendations to the princess, and to inform her "that an 
official communication had now been made to her from the 
King of Sweden, touching the match with his son, on which 
she desired Sir Thomas to ascertain her sister's sentiments from 
her own lips, and to communicate bow her Grace stood affected 
in this matter, and also to marriage in general." ^ 

Sir Thomas Pope, in compliance with this injunction, made 
the following report of what passed between himsdlf and 
Elizabeth on the subject. 

** First* after I had declared to her Orace how w^U the queen's majesty 
liked of her prudent and honourable answer made to the same messenger 
(ffom the King of Sweden), I then opened unto her Grace the effects of the 
said messenger's credence, which after her Grace had heard, I said that 
the queen's highness had sent -me to her Grace, not only to declare the 
same, but also to understand how her Grace liked the said notion. Where- 
ontOy after a little pause, her Grace answered in form following : — 

" 'Master Pope, I require you, after my most humble commendations 
unto the queen's majesty, to render unto the same Eke thanks, that it 
pleased her Highness of her goodness, to conceive so well of my answer 
made to the said messenger* wSi faevewithal of her princely commendation, 
with such speed to command you by your letters, to signify the same unto 
me, who before remained wonderfully perplexed* fearing that her Majesty 

1 Walton's Life of Sir Thomas Pope. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 115 

might mistake the same, or which her goodness I acknowledge myself 
bound to honour, serve, love and obey her Highness during ray Ufe. Re- 
quiring you also to say unto her Majesty, that in the king my brother's 
time, there was offered me a very honourable marriage or two, and ambas- 
sadors sent to treat with me touching the same, whereunto I made my 
humble sait unto his Highness, (as some of honour yet living can be testi- 
monies) that it would like the same (King Edward) to give me leave with 
his Grace's favour to remain in that estate I was, which of all others besi 
pleased me, and in good faith, I pray you say unto her Highness, I am even 
at this present of the same mind, and so intend to continue with her Ma- 
jesty's favour, assuring her Highness I so well like this state, as I persuade 
myself there is not any kind of life comparable to it. And as concerning 
my liking the motion made by the said messenger, I beseech you say unto 
her Majesty, that to my remembrance I never heard of his master before 
this time, and that I so well like both the message and the messenger, as 
I shall most humbly pray God upon my knees, that from henceforth I may 
never hear of the one nor the other." 

Not the most civil way in the world, it must be owned, of 
dismissing a remarkably civil offer, but Elizabeth gives her 
reason, in a manner artfully calculated to ingratiate herself with 
her royal sister, " And were there nothing else," pursues she, 
** to move me to mislike the motion other, than that his master 
would attempt the same without making the queen's majesty 
privy thereunto, it were cause sufficient." "And when her 
Grace had thus ended," resumes Sir Thomas Pop^ in con- 
clusion, " I was so bold, as of myself, to say unto her Grace, her 
pardon first required, that I thought few or none would believe 
but her Grace would be right well contented to marry, so there 
were some honourable marriage offered her, by the queen's 
highness, or with her Majesty's assent. Whereunto her Grace 
answered, * What I shall do hereafter I know not, but I assure 
you, upon my truth and fidelity, and as God be merciful unto 
me, I am not at this time otherwise minded than I have 
declared unto you. No, though I were offered the greatest 
prince in all Europe.'*' Sir Thomas Pope adds his own 
opinion of these protestations, in the following sly comment^ 
" And yet percase (perhaps) the queen's majesty may conceive 
this rather to proceed of a maidenly shamefacedness, than upon 
any such certain determination." 

This important letter is among the Harleian MSS., and is 
endorsed, " The Lady Elizabeth, her Grace's answer, made at 
Hatfield, th6 26th of April, 1558, to Sir T. Pope, knt, being 
sent from the queen's majesty to understand how her Grjice 
liked of the motion of marriage, made by the king elect of 
Swetheland's messenger." ^ It affords unquestionable proof, 

^MS. Harlttian, 444><7 ; also MS. Cotton. Vitell. ib, i& - 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 

ii6 Elizabeth 

that Elizabeth was allowed full liberty to decide for herself, as 
to her acceptance or rejection of this Protestant suitor for her 
hand, her brother-in-law, King Philip, not being so much as 
consulted on the subject. Camden asserts, " that after Philip 
had given up the attempt of forcing her to wed his friend, 
Philibert of Savoy, he would fain have made up a marriage 
between her and his own son, Don Carlos, who was then a boy 
of sixteen ; but he finally, when he became a widower, offered 
himself to her acceptance, instead of his heir." 

Elizabeth was so fortunate as to escape any implication in 
Stafford's rebellion, but among the Spaniards a report was 
circulated, that her hand was destined to reward the Earl of 
Westmoreland, by whom the insurrection was quelled. There 
were also rumours of an engagement between her and the 
Earl of Arundel. These are mentioned in Gonsalez.^ She is 
always called "Madame Isabel" in contemporary Spanish 
memoirs. Though much has been asserted to the contrary, 
the evidences of history prove, that Elizabeth was on amicable 
terms with Queen Mary at the time of her death, and for some 
months previous to that event. 

On the 9th of November, the Count de Feria, one of 
Philip's most confidential counsellors, brought the dying queen 
a letter from her absent consort, who, already embarrassed in a 
war with France, and dreading the possibility of the Queen of 
Scots being placed on the throne, requested Mary to declare 
Elizabeth her successor. The queen had anticipated his 
desire, by her previous appointment of Elizabeth, from whom 
she, however, exacted a profession of her adherence to the 
Catholic creed. 

Elizabeth complained, "that the queen should doubt the 
sincerity of her faith," and, if we may credit the Duchess of 
Feria, added, " That she prayed God that the earth might open 
and swallow her alive, if she were not a true Roman Catholic." * 
Although Elizabeth never scrupled throughout her life to 
sacrifice truth to expediency, it is difficult to believe that any 
one could, to secure a temporal advantage, utter so awful a 
perjury. She afterwards told Count Feria, that " she acknow- 
ledged the real presence in the sacrament," at least, so the count 
affirmed, in a letter he wrote to Philip II. the day before Queen 
Mary died. She likewise assured the Lord Lamar of her 
sincerity in this belief, and added, " that she did now and then 
pray to the Virgin Mary." Strype, who quotes documents in 

1 Memorias de la Real Academia de la Historia. Madrid. 
* MS. Life of the Duchess of Feria, p. 156. Lingard. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 117 

support of these words of Elizabeth, offers no contradiction to 

Edwin Sandys, in a letter to Bullinger, gives a very different > 
report of the communication which passed between the royal \ 
sisters. " Mary, not long before her death," says he,^ " sent 
two members of her council to her sister Elizabeth, and com- 
manded them to let her know 'that it was her intention to 
bequeath to her the royal crown, together with the dignity that she 
was then in possession of by right of inheritance.' In return, 
however, for this great favour conferred upon her, she required 
of her three things : first, * that she would not change her privy 
council ; * secondly, * that she would make no alteration in 
religion;.' and, thirdly, *that she would discharge her debts, 
and satisfy her creditors.' Elizabeth replied in these terms : — 
* I am very sorry to hear of the queen's ilbiess, but there is no 
reason why I should thank her for her intention of giving me 
the crown of this realm, for she has neither the power of 
bestowing it upon me, nor can I lawfully be deprived of it, 
since it is my peculiar and hereditary right With respect to 
the council, I think myself as much at liberty to choose my 
councillors as she was to choose hers. As to religion, I pro- 
mise thus much, that I will not change it, provided, only, that 
it can be proved by the word of God, which shall be the only 
foundation and rule of my religion. Lastly, in requiring the 
payment of her debts, she seems to me to require nothing more 
than what is just, and I will take care that they shall he paid as 
far as may lie in my power.' " • 

Such is the contradictory evidence given by two contempor- 
aries, one of whom, Jane Dormer, afterwards Duchess of Feria, 
certainly had the surest means of information as to the real 
state of the case, as she was one of the most trusted of Queen 
Mary's ladies in waiting ; and her subsequent marriage with the 
Spanish ambassador, the Conde de Feria, tended to enlighten 
her still more on the transactions between the dying queen and 
the princess. Dr. Sandys was not in England at the time, and 
merely quotes the statement of a nameless correspondent as to 
the affairs in England. The lofty tone of Elizabeth's reply 
suited not the deep dissimulation of her character, and appears 
inconsistent with the fact, that she was at that time, in all out- 
ward observances, a member of the Church of Rome. She con- 
tinued to attend the mass, and all other Catholic observances, 
a full month after her sister's death, and till she had clearly 

1 Stripe's Annals, vol. i. part »• !>• S^ ^ Zurich Letteri 

• Zurich Letters, published by the Parker Society. 

Digitized by VjOOQ iC 

ii8 Elizabeth 

ascertained that the Protestant party was the most numerous, 
and likely to obtain the ascendency. If, therefore, she judged 
that degree of caution necessary after the sovereign authority 
was in her own hands, was it likely that she would declare her 
opinion while the Catholics, who surrounded the dying bed of 
Mary, were exercising the whole power of the Crown ? Her 
answer was probably comprised in language sufficiently mystified 
to conceal her real intentions from Mary and her counsellors. 

On the loth of November, Count Feria, in obedience to the 
directions of his royal master, went to pay his compliments to 
the princess, and to offer her the assurances of Don Philip's 
friendship and good will. Elizabeth was then at the house of 
Lord Clinton, about thirteen miles from London. There Feria 
sought and obtained an interview with her, which forms an 
important episode in the early personal annals of this great 
sovereign. The particulars are related by Feria himself in a 
confiidential letter to Philip.^ He says, " the princess received 
him well, though not so cordially as on former occasions,*' 
He supped with her and Lady Clinton, and, after supper, 
opened the discourse, according to the instructions he had 
received from the king his master. The princess had three of 
her ladies in attendance, but she told the count " they under- 
stood no other language than English, so he might speak before 
them." He replied, " that he should be well pleased if the 
whole world heard what he had to say." 

Elizabeth expressed herself as much gratified by the count's 
visit, and the obliging message he had brought from his 
sovereign, of whom she spoke in friendly terms, and acknow- 
ledged, that she had been under some obligations to him when 
she was in prison ; but when the count endeavoured to persuade 
her thit she was indebted, for the recognition of her right to the 
royal succession, neither to Queen Mary nor her coimcil, but 
solely to Don Philip, she exhibited some degree of incredulity. 
In the same conference Elizabeth complained "that she had 
never been given more than 3000/. of maintenance,^ and that 
she knew the king had received large sums of money." The 
count contradicted this, because he knew it to be a fact that 
Queen Mary had once given her 7000/., and some jewels of 
great value, to relieve her from debts in which she had involved 
herself, in consequence of indulging in some expensive enter- 
tainments in the way of ballets. She then observed, ''that 
Philip had tried hard to induce her to enter into a matrimonial 
alliance with the Duke of Savoy, but that she knew how much 

1 Archives of Simaiifa. « A general term for income. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 119 

favour the queen had lost by marrying a foreigner." The count 
probably felt the incivility of this remark, but only replied care- 
lessly, in general terms.^ Here the details of the conversation 
end, and Feria proceeds to communicate his own opinion of 
the princess.^ " It appears to me," says he,* " that she is a 
woman of extreme vanity, but acute. She seems greatly to 
admire her father's system of government. I fear much that in 
religion she will not go right, as she seems inclined to favour 
men who are supposed to be heretics, and they tell me, the 
ladies who are about her, are all so. She appears highly in- 
dignant at the things that have been done against her during 
her sister's reign. She is much attached to the people, and is 
very confident that they are all on her side, (which is indeed 
true ;) in fact, she says, * it is they that have placed her in the 
position she at present holds,' as the declared successor to the I 

crown." On this point, Elizabeth, with great spirit, refused to [ 

acknowledge that she was under any obligation either to the ; 

King of Spain, his councilr or even to the nobles of England, 
thoi^h she said, "that they had all pledged themselves to 
remain faithful to her." "Indeed," condudes the count, 
" there is not a heretic or traitor in all the realm, who has not 
started, as if from the grave, to seek her and offer her their 

Two or three days before her death. Queen Mary sent Jane 
Dormer to deliver the crown jewels to Elizabeth, together with 
her dying requests to that princess, " first, that she would be 
good to her servants; secondly, that she would repay the sums 
of money that had been lent on privy seals; and, lastly, 
that she would continue the Church as she had re-established 
it."* Philip had directed his envoy to add to these jewels a 
valuable casket of his own, which he had left at Whitehall, and 
which Elizabeth had always greatly admired. In memory of 
the various civilities this monarch had shewn to Elizabeth, she 
alwajrs kept his portrait in her bedchamber, even after they 
became deadly political foes. 

During the last few days of Mary*s life, Hatfield became the 
resort of the time-serving courtiers, who sought to worship 
Elizabeth as the rising sun. The Conde de Feria readily pene- 
trated the secret of those who were destined to hold a distin- 
guished place in her councils, and predicted that Cecil would 
be her principal secretary. She did not conceal her dislike of 

1 The expression used by Feria is, Para payor ciertas tropas aUmanau 

2 Letter of C«tmt Feria to Philip II., in the Archives of Snnan^ji. 

» Reports of the Conde de Feria, from Gonzales, pp. 854, 155. I 

« MS. Life of the Ducheasde Feria. Lingaxd. ^ . 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

1 20 Elizabeth 

her kinsman, Cardinal Pole, then on his death-bed. " He had 
never," she said, " paid her any attention, and had caused her 
great annoyance." There is, in Leti, a long controversial 
dialogue between Elizabeth and him, in which the princess 
appears to have the best of the argument, but, however widely 
he might differ with her on theological subjects, he always 
treated her with the respect due to her elevated rank, and 
opposed the murderous policy of her determined foe, Gardiner. 
He wrote to her in his last illness, requesting her " to give credit 
to what the Dean of Worcester could say in his behalf, not 
doubting but his explanations would be satisfactory ; " but her 
pleasure or displeasure was of little moment to him in that 
hour, for the sands in the waning glass of life ebbed with him 
scarcely less quickly than with his departing sovereign and 
friend. Queen Mary. She died on the 17 th day of November, 
he on the i8th. 

Reports of the death of Mary were certainly circulated some 
hours before it took place, and Sir Nicholas Throckmorton, 
who was secretly employed by Elizabeth to give her the earliest 
possible intelligence of that event, rode off at fiery speed to 
Hatfield to communicate the tidings. The caution of Elizabeth 
taught her that it was dangerous to take any steps towards her 
own recognition till she could ascertain, to a certainty, the 
truth of a report that might only have been devised, to betray 
her into some act that might be construed into treason. She 
bade Throckmorton " hasten to the palace, and request one of 
the ladies of the bedchamber, who was in her confidence, if 
the queen were really dead, to send her, as a token, the black 
enamelled ring which her Majesty wore night and day." The 
circumstances are quaintly versified, in the precious Throck- 
morton metrical chronicle of the "Life of Sir Nicholas 

** Then I, who was misliked of the time, 

Obscurely sought to live scant seen at all,. 
So far was I from seeking up to climb, 

As that I thought it well to scape a fall 
Elizabeth I visited by stealth, 
As one who wished her quietness with health. 

•* Repairing oft to Hatfield, where she lay, 

My duty not to slack that I did owe, 
The queen fell very sick as we heard say, 

The truth whereof her sister ought to know. 
That her none might of malice undermine, 
A secret means herself did quickly find. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 121 

" She said (since nought exceedeth woman's fears, 
Wlio still do dread some baits of subtlety,) 
Sir Nicholas, know a ring my sister wears, 
Enamelled black, a pledge of loyalty. 
The which the King of Spain in spousals gave, — 
If ought fall out amiss, 'tis that I crave. 

" * But hark, ope not your lips to any one 
In hope as to obtain of courtesy, 
Unless you know my sister first be gone, 

For grudging minds will soon ofyne treachery,^ 
So shall thyself be safe and us be sure ; 
Who takes no hurt shall need no care of cure. 

** * Her dying day shall thee such credit get, 

That all will forward be to pleasure thee. 
And none at all shall seek thy suit to let (hinder) 

But go and come, and look here to find me.' 
Thence to the court I gallopped in post. 
Where, when I came, the queen gave up the ghost. 

** The ring received^ my brethren, which lay 
In London town with me,* to Hatfield went. 
And as we rode, there met us by the way 

' An old acquaintance hoping avancement, 
A sugared bait, that brought us to our bane, 
But chiefly me who therewithal was ta'en. 

** I egged them on with promise of reward ; 
I thought if neither credit nor some gain 
Fell to their share, the world went very hard, 
Yet reckoned I without mine host in vain. 

** When to the court I and my brother came. 

My news was stale, but yet she knew them true. 

But see how crossly things began to frame, 
The cardinal died, whose death my friends may rue, 

For then Lord Gray and I were sent, in hope 

To find some writings to or from the Pope. 

1 This line stands thns in the MS., which being beautifully written no mistake can 
arise on the part of the transcriber. Elizabeth's meaning seems to be that the ring was 
not to be sought till Mary's death. Coin treachery, we |hink, should be the phrase in 
the fourth line. 

a At the close of the year 1556, Throckmorton, who had been banished by Mary for 
his ijarticipation in the rebellion of Wyat. and had narrowly escaped paying the penalty 
of his life, ventured to return to Englana. He privately paid his court to the Princess 
Elizabeth, who employed him, oti the report of her sister's death, to ascertain the truth 
thereof— this he effected dexterously and secretly. He was a faithful, but a bold adviser ; 
ar.d soon came to issue with the new queen ; their point of dispute was on the propriety 
of excluding some zealous Catholic lords from the council ; the queen wished to retain 
them, Sir Nicholas Throckmorton insisted on their dismission. 'The queen, irritated by 
the freedom of his remonstrances, exclaimed : — " God's death, villain, I will have thy 

A remark which proves that swearing was an accomplishment of her youth. Throck- 
morton very coolly replied to this threat — 

"You will do well, madam, to consider, in that case, how you will afterwards keep 
your own on your shoulders." 

Digitized by VjOOQ iC 


2.2. Elizabeth 

While Throckmorton was on his road back to London, 
Mary expired, and ere he could return with the ring to satisfy 
Elizabeth of the truth of that events which busy rumour had 
ante-dated, a deputation from the late queen's council had 
already arrived at Hatfield,^ to apprise her of the demise of 
her sister, and to offer their homage to her as their rightful 
sovereign. Though well prepared for the intelligence, she 
appeared at first amazed and overpowered at what she heard, 
and, drawing a deep respiration, she sank upon her knees and 
exclaimed : — " O domino factum est illud^ et est mirabile in 
oculis nostrisl^ "It is the Lord's doing, it is marvellous in 
our eyes," 2 "which," says our authority, (Sir Robert Naunton,) 
" we find to this day on the stamp of her gold, with this on her 
silver — Posui Deu?n adjutorem meumJ^ ^ "I have chosen God ^, 
for my helper." ^ 

Eight-and-twenty years afterward^ Elizabeth, in a conversa- 
tion with the envoys of France, Chasteauneuf and Bellievre, 
spoke of the tears whidi 3he had shed on the death of her 
sister Mary, but she is the only person by whom they wer^ 
ever recorded. ^ 

1 Throckmorton MSS. > Psalm cxviii. a 3. 

S Fragmenta Regalia. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 


Recognition of Elizabeth in parliament — Proclaimed queen in Westminster Hall, &c. — 
Her first council— Cecil placed at the helm — Elizabeth's state entry into London — 
Sojourn at the Tower— Attends her sister's fimera^Temporises wiub church refonn 
— Hears mass for a month — Rejects it on Christmas Day — Her coronation — Pa^^eants 
and processions — She re-establishes the Reformed Churdi — Declares that she will die 
a virgin — Refuses Philip II. — Her perilous position in Europe— Instals her favourite, 
Rob^t Dudley: as Knight of the Garter— Suitors for her hand— F^tes to the French 
ambassador — loumament, &c — Wooed by the Earls of Arran and Arundel — They 
are rivalled fay Lord Robert Dudley— Scandals regarding Elizabeth— Offers of the 
Archduke Charles and Eric of Sweden — Portraits of Elizabethr— Reports of her 
marriage with Robert Dudley — Her pNopular charities— Elizabeth's coinaee and coins 
—Her antipathy to J. Knox— Her visit to the Mint — Progress through the city — 
Censures the marriages of the Clergy — Severity to Lady K. Gray — Differences with 
the Queen of Scots — Refuses her safe conduct — Entertains the grand prior of Fiance. 

While Queen Mary lay on her death-bed, the greatest 
alarm had prevailed regarding the expected crisis. A con- 
temporary, who watched closely the temper of the public, thus 
describes the anxieties of the responsible part of the com- 
munity : — " The rich were fearful, the wise careful, the honestly- 
disposed doubtful," and he adds, emphatically, "the discontented 
and desperate were joyful, wishing for strife as the door for 
plunder." ^ All persons, therefore, who had anything to lose, 
whatever their religious bias might be, must have felt relieved 
at the peaceable accession of Elizabeth. 

On Qie morning of the 1 7th of November, parliament (which 
was then sitting) assembled betimes for the despatch of business. 
The demise of the crown was, however, only known in the 
palace. Before noon, Dr. Heath, the Archbishop of York and 
Lord Chancellor of England, sent a message to the SpeaJkar of 
the House of Commons, requesting " that he, with the knights 
and burgesses of the nether house, would without delay adjourn 
to the upper house, to give their assents, in a matter of the 
utmost importance." When the commons were assembled in 
the House of Lords, silence being proclaimed, Lord Chancellor 
Heath addressed the united senate in these words : — 

"The cause of your summons hither, at this time, is to signify to you, 
that all the lords here present are certainly certified, that God this morning 
hath called to his mercy our late sovereign lady. Queen Mary, which hap, 
as it is most heavy and grievous to us, so have we no less cause otherwise, 
to rejoice with praise to Almighty God, for leaving to us a true, lawful, and 
right inheritrix to the crown of this realm, which is the Lady Elizabeth, 
second daughter to our late sovereign, of noble memory, Henry VI 11., and 

1 Bishop Godvrin. 

^^^ Digitized by Google 

124 Elizabeth 

sister to our said late queen, of whose most lawful right and title to the 
crown, thanks be to God, we need not doubt.^ 

"Albeit, the parliament (House of Commons) by the heavy accident of 
Queen Mary's death, did dissolve,* yet, as they had been elected to repre- 
sent the common people of the realm, and to deal for them in matters of 
state, they could no way better discharge that trust than, in joining with the 
lords, in publishing the next succession to the crown.' 

" Wherefore the lords of this house have determined, with your assents 
and consents, to pass from hence into the palace, and there to proclaim the 
Lady Elizabeth queen of this realm, without any further triut of time." 

" God save Queen Elizabeth ! " was the response of the lords 
and commons to the speech of their Lord Chancellor — " Long 
may Queen Elizabeth reign over us 1 " " And so," adds our 
chronicle, "was this parliament dissolved by the act of God." 

Thus, through the wisdom and patriotism of the Lord Chan- 
cellor of England, was the title of Queen Elizabeth rendered 
indisputable, for her first proclamation and recognition were 
rendered most solemn acts of parliament. It is scarcely pos- 
sible, but that Heath must have foreseen his own doom, and 
that of his religion, of which he was at that moment, with the 
exception of the expiring Pole, the ostensible head in England, 
yet it is most evident, that he preferred consulting the general 
good, by averting a civil war, to the benefit of his own particu- 
lar class. It ought to be remembered that his conduct, at this 
crisis, secured the loyalty of the Catholics of England to 

All the important acts of the united houses of parliament 
respecting the recognition of Queen Elizabeth were completed 
before the clock struck twelve, that 17th of November.* The 
lords, with the heralds, then entered the palace of Westminster, 
and directly before its hall door, after several solemn soundings 
of trumpets, the new queen was proclaimed " Elizabeth, by the 
grace of God, Queen of England, France, and Ireland, and 
defender of the faith, fee.** This "&c." hides an important 
historical fact — namely, that she was not then proclaimed 
supreme head of the Church. 

The young Duke of Norfolk, as Earl Marshal, accompanied 
by several bishops and nobles, then went into the city, where 
they met the Lord Mayor and civic authorities, and the heralds 

1 Holinshed, vol. iu p. 1784, first edition, 1577. 

a Such was the law of the realm till the 7th and 8th ytax% of William III., cap. X5, 
which enacted that parliament should sit for six months, if not sooner dissolved by the 
reiening monarch. 

« Hayward's Annals of Elisabeth, Camden Society, p. 2. The important speech of 
Lord Chancellor Heath is conjointly preserved in Hayward and Holinshed. Drake's 
Parliamentary History, after quoting the journals of the house, indignantly points out 
Raptn's deliberate falsification on this point of history. 

^ Holinshed, vol. iL pw 1784. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 1 25 

proclaimed Queen Elizabeth at the cross of Cheapside. In the 
afternoon all the city bells rang, bonfires were lighted, ale and 
wine distributed, and the populace invited to feast at tables put 
out at the doors of the rich citizens ; all signs of mourning for 
the deceased queen being entirely lost in joy for the accession 
of her sister. So passed the first day of the reign of Elizabeth 
— a day which came to cheer with hope a season of universal 
tribulation and misery ; for, besides the inquisitorial cruelties 
of Boniier, which had proved plague sufficient to the London 
citizens, it was a time of famine and of pestilence more uni- 
versal than the plague, which usually confined its ravages to great 
cities. Many thousands had, in the autumn of 1558, fallei^ 
victims to a fever called a quotidian ague, but which was, 
doubtless, a malignant, typhus. It had broken out in the har- 
vest, and carried ofi* so many country people, that the harvest 
rotted on the ground for want of hands. Great numbers of 
ecclesiastics had died of this fever; thirteen bishops died in 
the course of four months ; and to this circumstance the facile 
change of religion, which took place directly, may partly be 
attributed. Cardinal Pole lay ip the agonies of death ; Chnsto- 
pherson Bishop of Chichester, and Griffin Bishop of Rochester^ 
were either dying or dead. 

While these important scenes were transacting in her senate 
and metropolis, the new sovereign remained, probably out of 
respect to her sister's memory, in retirement at Hatfield, and 
the ceremony of her proclamation did not take place there till 
the 19th, when it was performed before the gates of Hatfield 
House. In the same day and hour, however, in which her 
accession to the regal office was aimounced to her, she entered 
upon the high and responsible duties of a vocation, for which 
few princes possessed such eminent qualifications as herself. 

The privy council repaired to the new queen at Hatfield, and 
there she sat in council for the first time with them, November 
20th. Sir Thomas Parry, the cofferer of her household, Cave, 
Rogers, and Sir William Cecil, were sworn in as members.^ 

Her Majesty's address to Cecil, on that occasion, is a noble 
summary of the duties which he was expected to perform to his 
queen and country : — 

" I give you this charge that you shall be of my privy council, and con- 
tent yourself to take pains for me and my realm. This judgment I have of 
you, that you will not be corrupted by any manner of gift, and that you will 
be faithful to the state ; and that, without respect to my private will, you 
will give me that council which you think best, and if you shall know any- 

1 Strype. Camden. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

126 Elizabeth 

thing necessary to be declared to me of secrecy, yon shall shew it to mysell 
only, and assure yourself I will not fail to keep taciturnity therein, and 
therefore herewith I charge you.** 

Elizabeth left no room for doubt or speculation among the 
eager competitors for her favour, as to* the minister whom she 
intended to guide the helm of state, for she accepted a note of 
advice from Sir William Cecil on the most urgent matters that 
required her attention, that very day, and appointed him her 
principal secretary of state. The political tie that was then 
knit between Cecil and his royal mistress, though occasionally 
shaken, was only broken by the death of that great statesman, 
who was able to elevate or bend the powers of his acute intel- 
lect to all matters of government, from measures that rendered 
England the arbitress of Europe, to the petty details of the 
milHner and tailor, in sumptuary laws. 

Elizabeth commenced her progress to her metropolis, No- 
vember 23rd, attended by a magnificent retinue of lords, ladies, 
and gentlemen, and a prodigious concourse of people who 
poured out of London and its adjacent villages to behold and 
welcome her. On the road to Highgate she met a procession 
of the bishops, who kneeled by the way-side, and offered her 
their allegiance, which was very graciously accepted.* She 
gave to every one of them her hand to kiss excepting Bonner, 
Bishop of London.* This exception she made to mark her 
abhorrence of his cruelty. The Lord Mayor and aldermen, in 
their scarlet gowns, likewise met her, and conducted her in 
great state to the Charter House, then the town residence of 
Lord North. Lord Chancellor Heath and the Earls of Derby 
and Shrewsbury received her there. She stayed at the Charter 
House five daj^, and sat in council every day.* 

The queen left the Charter House on Monday, November 
28, to take formal possession of her royal fortress of the Tower. 
Immense crowds assembled to greet her, and to gaze on her 
both without and within the city gates, and a mighty retinue of 
the nobility of both sexes surrounded her. She ascended a 
rich chariot, and rode from the Charter House along the 
Barbican, till she reached Cripplegate, where the Lord Mayor 
and city authorities received her. Then she mounted on horse- 
back and entered the city in equestrian procession. She was 
attired in a riding-dress of purple velvet, with a scarf tied over 
her shoulder ; the serjeants-at-arms guarded her. Lord Robert 

1 Harrington's Nug« AntiquB. Suype. 

> Macintosh, vol. in. ; Strype ; Citizens' Journal ; and Holinshed, vol. ii. p. 1784. 

> Stowe's Annals, 634. 4 Strype's Citizens' JournaL 

Digitized by VjOOg IC 

Elizabeth 127 

Dudley, as master of the horse* rode next her ; &U5 early was 
this favourite exalted to the place he held so long. The Lord 
Mayor preceded her, carrying her sceptre, and by his side rode 
Garter Kiiag-at-arms. Lord Pembroke rode directly before her 
Majesty, bearing, the sword of state. The queen rode along 
London Wall, then a regular fortification, which was richly hung 
with tapestry, and the city waits sounded loud music. She rode 
up Leadenhall Street to Gracechurch Street, called by our 
citizen journalist "Grasschurch Street,*' till she arrived at the 
Blanch Chapelton,^ at the entry of the Mart, or Market Lane, 
now the well-known Mark Lane, still the corn-mart of England, 
though few who transact business there are aware of the extreme 
antiquity of their station. 

When the queen arrived at the Blanch Chapelton, the Tower 
guns began to herald her approadi, and continued discharging 
all the while she p|-ogressed down Mart Lane and Tower 
Street ; she was greeted at various places by playing on regals, 
singing of children, and speeches from the scholars of Saint 
Paul's SchooL "The presence of the queen," says an eye- 
witness,^ "gave life to all these solemnities, she promptly 
answered all speeches made to her, she graced every person 
either of dignity or office, and so cheerfully noticed and 
accepted everything, that in the judgment of the beholders, 
these great honours were esteemed too mean for her personal 
worth. Deeply had Elizabeth studied her meikr du rot, before 
she had an opportunity of rehearsing her part. Fortunately for 
her, the pride and presumption of youth had been a little 
tamed by early misfortune, and, stimulated by the inexorable 
necessity of self-defence, she had been forced to look into 
human character and adapt her manners to her interest 
Adversity had taught her the invaluable lesson embodied by 
Wordsworth in these immortal words — 

"Of friends, however humble, scorn not one." 

As she entered the Tower, she majestically addressed those 
about her. ** Some," said she, "have fallen from being princes 
of this land, to be prisoners in this place ; I am raised from 
being prisoner in this place to be prince of this land. That 
dejection was a work of God's justice ; this advancement is a 
work of his mercy ; as they were to yield patience for the one, 
so I must bear myself to God thankful, and to men merciful 

1 An ecclesiastical stracture named in Holinshed and the Citizens' Journal, swept 
away by the fire of London. 
8 Hayward, p. lo. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

128 Elizabeth 

for the other." It is said that she immediately went to her 
former prison apartment, where she fell on her knees, and 
offered up aloud an extempore prayer, in which she compared 
herself to Daniel in the lion's den, the words of which are 
in print, but bear very strongly the tone of Master Fox's 

She remained at the Tower till the 5th of December, holding 
privy councils of mighty import, whose chief tenor was to 
ascertain what members of the late queen's Catholic council 
would coalesce with her own party — which were the remnants 
of the administration of Edward VI. — Cecil, Bacon, Sadler, 
Parr, Russell, and the Dudleys. Likewise to produce a modi- 
fication between the Church of Edward VI. and the Henrican, 
or anti-papal Church of her father, which might claim to be a 
reformed Church, with herself for its supreme head. On the 
5th of December, the queen removed from the Tower by water, 
and took up ber abode at Somerset House, where a privy 
council was held daily for fifteen days. 

Meantime, mass was said at the funerals of Queen Mary, of 
Cardinal Pole, and the two deceased bishops, whose obsequies 
were observed with all the rites of the ancient Church. 

Elizabeth attended in person at her sister's burial, and 
listened attentively to her funeral sermon, preached by Dr. 
White, Bishop of Winchester, which was in Latin. The 
proverb, that "comparisons are odious," was truly illustrated 
by this celebrated discourse, which Sir John Harrington calls 
"a black sermon."^ It contained a biographical sketch of the 
late queen, in which he mentioned, with great praise, her 
renunciation of church supremacy, and repeated her observa- 
tion, " that as Saint Paul forbade women to speak in the church, 
it was not fitting for the Church to have a dumb head." This 
was not very pleasant to Elizabeth, who had either just required 
the oath of supremacy to be administered, or was agitating that 
matter in the privy council. Had Dr. White preached in 
English, his sermon might have done her much mischief. 
When the bishop described the grievous suffering of Queen 
Mary, he fell into such a fit of weeping that his voice was 
choked for a time. When he recovered himself, he added, 
" that Queen Mary had left a sister, a lady of great worth, also, 
whom they were bound to obey; for," said he, ^* melior est 
cams vivus hone mortuo." Elizabeth was too good a Latinist 
not to fire at this elegant simile, which declared " that a living 

1 Nugae Antiquae, vol. U. p. 84* 85. Camden. Life of Elizabeth. 

Digitized by VjOOg IC 

Elizabeth 129 

dog was better than a dead lion ; " nor did the orator content 
himself with this currish comparison, for he roundly asserted, 
*' that the dead deserved more praise than the living, for Mary 
had chosen the better part" 

As the Bishop of Winchester descended the pulpit stairs, 
Elizabeth ordered him under arrest. He defied her Majesty, 
and threatened her with excommunication, for which she cared 
not a rush. He was a prelate of austere but irreproachable 
manners ; exceedingly desirous of testifying his opinions by a 
public martyrdom, which he did and said all in his power to 
obtain, but Elizabeth was, at that period of her Ufe, too wise to 
indulge the zealous professors of the ancient faith, in any such 

No author but the faithful and accurate Stowe, has noted 
the important result of the daily deliberations held by the 
queen and her privy council at Somerset House at this epoch : 
he says, " the queen began then to put in practice, that oath 
of supremacy which her father first ordained, and amongst the 
many that refused that oath was my Lord Chancellor, Dr. 
Heath. The queen having a good respect for him would not 
deprive him of his title, but committed the custody of the great 
seal to Nicholas Bacon, attorney of the wards, who from that 
time was called lord keeper, and exercised the authority of 
lord chancellor as confirmed by act of parliament."^ This oath 
of supremacy was the test which sifted the council from those, 
to whom the ancient faith was matter of conscience, and those 
to whom it was matter of worldly business,, the Nonjurors 
withdrew either into captivity, or country retirement. 

Of the Catholic members of the privy council who remained, 
Lord William Howard was her Majesty's uncle and entire 
friend, Sackville was her cousin, the Earl of Arundel her lover. 
The Marquis of Winchester acted according to his characteristic 
description of his own policy, by playing the part of the willow, 
rather than the oak,^ and from one of the most criiel of 
Elizabeth's persecutors, became at once the supplest of her 
instruments. His example was imitated by others in this list, 
who for the most part appeared duly impressed with the spirit 
of the constitutional maxim — " The crown takes away all 

Elizabeth acted much as Mary did at her accession ; she 
forbade any one to preach without her licence^ and ostensibly 
left the rites of religion as she found them, but she, for a time, 

1 Stowe's Chronicle, black letter, folio 635. r^r^r\r^]t> 

8 Naunton's Fragments Regaliae. Digitized by N^UU^ IL 

1 30 Elizabeth 

wholly locked up the famous palpit of polittcal sermons^ Saint 
PauFs Cross.i 

Me&Qii;i3[ei mass was dsuly celebrated m tiie chapd royal, 
and throughout the realm ;^ and the qiaee%tbo«i^ weli known 
to be a l^testant, coofonncd oudswardlj to the ceremonial 
observances: q£ the Church of Rome, 

It was desiabk that the coronation of EUzabeth should 
take place speedily, m order that ska- migbt have the: benefil of 
the. oaths of allegiafice, o£ that part of the aristocracy who 
regflfrded oaths. But a gre»tr obstadb arose : there was no one 
to citmn her. The Archbishop of Canterbury was deaji ; Dc 
Heath,, the Ardibishop of Yock^ posiidvely rehssed to down 
her as supreme head of the Church ; there were but five or six 
Catholk bishops sunmri(ng the pestiJierHiej. and the^ all obstin- 
a^ly refused to perforob the ceremdoy, netthear would- they 
consecrate acy Inshops, who were of a ddHerenk way of 

Notwithstanding these signs and symptoms of aipproaching 
change^ aU ceremonies were preparing for cekbcaling the 
Christmas festival according to the rites of the aiDGient Chiirdi. 
It was on the iBOining of Christmas Day,, that Elisabeth took 
the inoportaxst step) of persoooal secession &om the mas& She 
appeared in her closet ia great states at the celebration of the 
mocning servioe^ snrrovmded by herkdies and offioenL Ogle- 
thoirpie, Bishop o£ Carlisle, waa at the ahar^ pcqpairtng to 
officiate at high Eoass ; but when the gospel was conchzded^ 
and every one expected that the queen would, have made the 
usual offering, she jx>se abruptly, and with, her whole retiiane 
withdrew from the closet into her privy diamber, which was 
strange to divers. '^God be blessed for all his gifts I *^ adds the 
narratof of this scene.^ Thds withdrawal was to signify her 
dtsappoobation of tiae mass; yet she pcoceeded; sofidy and 
gradually, till abe ascertained the tone of the new parliameat^ 
which had mot yet met. Had her conduct on Christmas 
morning excited general repiobation, instead of appreciation, she 
coilld have laid her relzeat, and that of her personal attendants, 
on her sudden indisposition. When she found this step was 
well received she took another, ^^ich was to issue a proclama- 
tion, ordering, that from the approaching New Year's Day, the 

1 This step, so iisportanttD ber personal and regnal life, is leA b the deepest obscurity 
by all but Stowe, who was, it ought to be reoiembered, persecuted by the privy couocU 
for his historical labonrs. 

3 Holinshed, first edition, voL u. 1785. 

s Ellis's Original Letters, voL tL p. 963, second series. Letter of Sir W. Fitzwilliam 
to Mr. More. The original is one of the Losdy MSS. 


by Google 

Eliiabeth 131 

' Litany should, with tbe epistle -and gospel, be said m English 
in her chapel, and in all churches; 

Fiirdier alteration was not at this time effected, because it 
was detennined, that Elizabeth ^ould be crowned with the 
fdigiaos cenemonials of the Catholic Church; but her mand 
was occupied with other thoughts than religion, relative to her 
coronation. S^ sent hev favourite, Robett Dodlej, to oonsult 
hye pet conjuror, Dr. Dee, to ^ a lucky day for the ceremony.* 

Such were the occupations of the great EKzabeth, in the 
first exercise of her regal power — ^now dictating the mode of 
worship in her dominions, now holding a consultation with a 
conjuror. Elisabeth has been praised for her superiority to 
tbe supersdtions^ of her age. Her frequent visits, and close 
oonsultatsons with Dr. Dee, throughout the chief part of her 
hkf are in lamentable contradiction to such paneg3n'ic. He 
had, as already noticed,^ been prosecuted for telling the 
fortunes of Elizabeth when princess, and casting the nativity 
of Queen Mary, to the infinite ind^natkm of that queem He 
bad, it seems, made a lucky guess as to the shovt duration of 
Mary's life; and, truly, it required no great powers of divination 
to dO' sa Such was the foundation of Queen Elisabeth's faith 
in this dfisreputable quack ; her confidendal' ooaid too, Blanche 
Parry (who was in all the secrets of her royal m^tress, before 
and after ber accesMton) was an avowed disciple of Dr. Dee, 
an^ his pupil in alchemy and astrology.® 

The queen, her privy council, and Dr. Dee, having agreed 
that Sunday, the 15th of January, would be the most siMtable 
dsy for her coronation, she likewise appointed the preceding 
day, Saturday the 14th, for her grand recognition-procession 
through the city of London, As this procession always com- 
menced froKi the royal fortress of the Tower, the queen went 
thither m a state barge on the 12th of January, from the 
palace of Westminster, by water. The Lord Mayor, and his 
city companies met. her on the Tha«tes, " with their barges 
decked witk banners of their crafts andi roystenes." • The Lord 
Mayor's own company— naittely, the Mercers' — ^had "a bache- 
lor's barge and an attendant foistj with artillery shootdng oft 
hastily as they w^nt, with: great anNJ pleasant melody c€ instru- 
ments, which played in a sweet and heavenly maraier." Her 
Majesty shot the brid!ge about two o'clock, at the still of the 
ebb, the Lord Mayor with the othelr barges following her;- and 

X GodwiiiVi USt oC Dr. Dee. He has drawn his iafornu^n from Dc. Casftxiboo... 
2 Letter in the State Paper Office. Tytlcr's Edward and Mary, vol. ii. p. 479. 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 

132 Elizabeth 

she landed at the private stairs, on Tower Wharf. The queen 
was occupied the next day by making knights of the Bath; 
she, likewise, created or restored five peers ; among, others she 
made her mother's nephew, Sir Henry Carey, Lord Hunsdon, 

The recognition-procession through the city of London, was 
one of peculiar character, marked not by any striking difference 
of parade or ceremony, but by the constant drama acted 
between the new queen and the populace. The manner and 
precedence of the line of march much resembled that previ- 
ously described in the life of her sister. Queen Mary. Eliza- 
beth left the Tower about two in the afternoon, seated, royally 
attired, in a chariot covered with crimson velvet, which had a 
canopy borne over it by knights, one of whom was her illegiti- 
mate brother. Sir John Perrot. "The queen," says George 
Ferrers, who was an officer in the procession,^ " as she entered 
the city, was received by the people with prayers, welcomings, 
cries, and tender words, and all signs, which argue an earnest 
love of subjects towards their sovereign ; and the queen, by 
holding up her hands and glad countenance to such as stood 
afar off, and most tender language to those that stood nigh to 
her Grace, shewed herself no less thankful to receive the 
people's good will, than they to offer it To all that wished her 
well, she gave thanks. To such as bade * God save her Grace,' 
she said, in return, ' God save you all ! ' and added, * that she 
thanked them with all her heart.' Wonderfully transported 
were the people with the loving answers and gestures of their 
queen ; the same «he had displayed at her first progress from 
Hatfield. The city of London might, at that time, have been 
termed a stage^ wherein was shewn the spectacle of the noble- 
hearted queen's demeanour towards her most loving people, 
and the people's exceeding joy at beholding such a sovereign, 
and hearing so princely a voice. How many nosegays did her 
Grace receive at poor women's hands ! How often stayed she 
her chariot, when she saw any simple body approach to speak 
to her I A branch of rosemary given to her Majesty, with a 
supplication, by a poor woman about Fleet Bridge, was seen in 
her chariot, when her Grace came to Westminster, not without 
the wondering of such as knew the presenter, and noted the 
queen's gracious reception and keeping the same." An apt 
simile to the stage seems irresistibly to have taken possession 
of the brain of our worthy dramatist, George Ferrers, in the 
midst of this pretty description of his liege lady's performance. 
However, her Majesty adapted her part well to her audience — 

1 He is the real author of this curious narrative printed in Holinshed. j 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 133 

a little coarsely in the matter of gesture, perhaps — ^as more 
casting up her eyes to heaven, signing with her hands, and 
moulding of her features, are described, in the course of the 
narrative, than are exactly consistent with the good taste of a 
gentlewoman in these days; nevertheless her spectators were 
not very far advanced in civilization, and she dexterously 
adapted her style of performance to their appreciation. 

The pageants b^an in Fenchurch Street, where a "fair 
child," in costly apparel, was placed on a stage to welcome her 
Majesty to the city. The last verse of his greeting shaU serve 
as a specimen of the rest : 

** Welcome, O queen, as much as heart can think I 
Welcome again, as much as tongue can tell ! 
Welcome to joyous tongues and hearts that will not shrink ! 
God thee preserve, we pray, and wish thee ever well ! " 

At the words of the last line the people gave a great shout, 
repeating, with one assent, what the child had said.^ "And 
the queen's majesty thanked graciously both the city for her 
reception, and the people for confirming the same. Here was 
noted the perpetual attentiveness in the queen's countenance, 
while the child spake, and a marvellous change in her look, as 
the words touched either her or the people ; so that her rejoic- 
ing visage declared that the words took their place in her 
mind" Thus Elizabeth, who steered her way so skilfully, till 
she attained the highest worldly prosperity, appreciated the full 
influence of the " mute angel of attention." It is evident she 
knew how to listen, as well as to speak. 

" At the upper end of Gracechurch Street, before the sign of 
the Eagle (perhaps the Spread Eagle), the city had erected a 
gorgeous arch, beneath which was a stage, which stretched from 
one side of the street to the other. This was an historical 
pageant, representing the queen's immediate progenitors. 
There sat Elizabeth of York, in the midst of an immense white 
rose, whose petals formed elaborate furbelows round her ; by 
her side was Henry VII. issuing out of a vast red rose, disposed 
in the same manner ; the hands of the royal pair were locked 
together, and the wedding ring ostentatiously displayed. From 
the red and white roses proceeded a stem, which reached up to 
a second stage, occupied by Henry VIII., issuing from a red 
and white rose ; and, for the first time since her disgrace and 
execution, was the effigy of the queen's mother, Anne Boleyn, 
represented by his side. One branch sprang from this pair, 

1 Holinshed, voL iL p. 1787. 

Digitized by VjOOg IC 

134 Elizabeth 

which nsounted to a third stage, where sat -the effigy of Queen 
Eiizabedi hersdf, enthroned in roy^ majesty .; and the whole 
pageant was framed with wreaths of roses, red -and white." ^ 

By the time the queen had arrived before this quakit spec- 
tacle, her loving lieges had become so outrageously noisy in 
their glee, that Siere were all talkers and no hearers; not a word 
that the child said, who was appointed to explain the whole 
puppet-^how, and repeat some Yerses, could be heard, and the 
queen was fbrced to oomsoand and ecitreat silenoe. Her 
chariot had passed so far forward that she could not well view 
the said kings and queens, but she ordered it to be backed, 
" yet scarcely could she see, because the child who spoke was 
placed too much wrthm;" Besides, it is well known, Elizabeth 
was near-sighted as well as her sister. 

As she entered Comhill, one of the kmghts, who bore her 
canopy, observed that an ancient citizen turned away and wept. 
"Yon<kr is an alderman," he said to the queen, •* winch 
wecpeth and averteth his ftice." 

" I warrant it is for joy,** replied the queen. " A gracious 
interpretation," adds the narrator, "which inakes the best of 
the doQbtful.^' In Cheapside ^e smiled, and being asked the 
reason, she replied, ** Because I have just overheard one say in 
the cit)wd, • I remember old King Hiarry the E^hth.^ " 

A scriptural pageant was placed on a Btage, which spanned 
the entrance of Soper's Lane ; it -represented the eight beati- 
tudes, prettily personified by beautiful children. One of these 
little performers addressed tx> the qpsteen the following lines, 
which are a more favourable specimen than usual of pageant 
poetry : — 

' ' Thou hast been eight times blest, oh queen of worthy fame I 
JBy meekness of thy sprite, when care did thee beset;, 
By mourning in thy grief, %y miMfiess in thy ^hirne, 
By Juingec and by thirst, -when rigiit itho« coaidst sot get 

" By mercy shewed, not proved, by pureness of thhie heart. 
By seeking peace alway, by persecution wrong, 
lliere^e trust tboa in God, since be hath lieipt thy smavty 
That AS his proiniae is, so he will make thee strong." 

The people all responded to the wishes the little spokesman 
had uttered, whom the queen most gently thanked, for their 
loving good will. 

Many other pageants were displayed at all the old stations 
in Corhhill and Chepe, with whigh our readers are tolerably 

1 Holinshed, p» 1788. 

Digitized by VjOOg IC 

Elizabeth 135 

fiisHliar in preceding biographies. These omst ve pass 'by ti>- 
heeded ; so did not Queen Bliiabeth, who had some pertinesit 
speedy or ^t least some appropriate gesture, ready for each. 
Thus, when she encountered the governors and bo^ of Chiist 
Church Hospital, all the time she was listening to a speech 
from one of the scholars, she sat with her eyes and hands cast 
up to heaveoy to .the great edification of all beholders. 

Her reception of the grand allegory of Time and Truth, at 
the Little Conduit in Cheapside, was more natural and pleasing^ 
She asked " Who an old man was who sat with his scythe and 
hour-gfess ? " She was told " Time.'' ** Time \ " she repeated,, 
" and time has brought me here I '' 

In this pageafnt, she spied that Truth held a BiWe m English, 
ready for presentation to her, and she bade Sir John Perrot (the 
knight nearest to her, who held up her canopy) to step for- 
ward and receive it for her; but she was informed, that was not 
the regular manner of presentation, for it was to be let dow& 
into her chariot, by a silken string. She therdbre told Sir John 
Perrof to stay ; and at the proper crisis, in some verses recited 
by Truth, the book descended, " and the queen received it in 
both her hands, kissed it, clasped it to her bosom, and thanked 
flie city for this present, esteemed above all others. She 
promised to read it diligently, to the great comfort of the 

Throughotft the whole of Cheapwde, from every pent-honse 
and window hung baniners and streamers, and the richest car- 
pets, stuffls, and^olh of gold tapestried the streets, i^jecimens 
of the great wealth of «he stores withiil, for Cheapside was the 
princip^ location ef the mercers and silk-dealers in London. 
At the uppta^end of this splendid tlK^-ou^are were collected 
the city autfcorfties, in their gala dresses, headed by thehr 
recorder, Mas^r Ranulph ChoJmely, who, in the name of the 
Lord Mayor and the city of London, begged her Majesty's 
acceptance of a purse of crimson sa«m, eontaining a thousand 
marks in gold, and withal, beseeched her to continue good and 
gracious lady and queen to them. 

The queen's majesty took the purse, "with both her hands," 
and readily answered, 

•* I thar^ my Lord Mayor, his brethren, and ye all. And 
whereas, master recorder, your request is, that I may continue 
your good lady and queen, be ye assured, that I will be as good 
unto ye as ever queen was to a people.** 

After pausing to behold a pageant of Deborah, who governed 
Israel m peace for forty years, she reached the Temple Bar, 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 



where Gog and Magog, and a concert of sweet-voiced children, 
were ready to bid her farewell, in the name of the whole city. 
The last verse of the song of farewell gave a hint of the 
expected establishment of the Reformation: 

** Farewell, O worthy queen, and as our hope is sure. 
That into error's place thou wilt now truth restore. 
So trust we that thou wilt our sovereign queen endure. 
And loving lady stand from henceforth evermore." 

Allusions to the establishment of truth and the extirpation 
of error, had been repeated in the previous parts of this song, 
and whenever they occurred Elizabeth held up her hands and 
eyes to heaven, and at the conclusion expressed her wish that 
all the people should respond, Amen 1 

As she passed through Temple Bar, she said, as a farewell 
to the populace — " Be ye well assured I will stand your good 

The acclamations of the people in reply exceeded the thun- 
dering of the ordnance, at that moment shot oflF from the 

Thus ended this celebrated procession, which certainly gave 
the tone to Elizabeth's public demeanour, throughout the 
remainder of her life. 

The queen's perplexity regarding the prelate, who was to 
crown her, must have continued till the last moment, because, 
had Dr. Oglethorpe, the Bishop of Carlisle, been earlier pre- 
vailed on, to perform this ceremony, it is certain proper vest- 
ments could have been prepared for him, instead of borrowing 
them from Bonner, which was actually done on the spur of the 
moment. Dr. Oglethorpe was the officiating bishop at the 
royal chapel ; he might therefore consider that he owed more 
obedience to the sovereign's command than the rest of the 
Catholic prelates. The compromise appears to have been, that 
if Elizabeth took the ancient oath administered to her Catholic 
predecessors, he would set the crown on her head. That she 
took such oath is universally agreed by historians. 

She passed the night preceding her coronation at Whitehall, 
and early in the morning came in her barge, in procession by 
water, to the old palace at Westminster. She assumed the 
same rob^s in which she afterwards opened parliament — a 
mantle of crimson velvet, furred with ermine, with a cordon of 
silk and gold, with buttons and tassels of the same ; a train 
and surcoat of the same velvet, the train and skirt furred with 
ermine; a cap of maintenance, striped with passaments of gold 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 137 

lace, and a tassel of gold to the same. This was by no means 
in accordance with the jewelled eirclets usually worn by queens 
of England, whether consort or regniant, preparatory to their 
coronation. There is every reason to believe, from the utter 
exhaustion of the treasury, that the coronation of Elizabeth was 
in many instances abbreviated of its usual splendour. But one 
very scarce and imperfect detail exists of it ; ^ for it could not 
have given pleasure to any party — the Protestants must have 
been ashamed of the oath she took, and the Catholics enraged 
at her breaking it. Her procession from Westminster Hall 
was met by the one bishop, Oglethorpe. He wore his mitre 
and the borrowed vestments of Bonner. Three crosses were 
borne before him, and he walked at the head of the singers of 
the queen's chapel, who sang as they went, Saive festa dies. 
The path for the queen's procession was railed in and spread 
with blue cloth. The queen was conducted, with the usual 
ceremonies, to a chair of state at the high altar. She was then 
led by two noblemen to the platform for recognition, and pre- 
sented by Bishop Oglethorpe as queen, trumpets blowing 
between every proclamation. When she presented herself 
before the high altar, she knelt before Oglethorpe, and kissed 
the cover (zv/T) of the paten and chalice, and made an offering 
in money. She returned to her chair while Bishop Oglethorpe 
preached the sermon and " bade the beads," a service some- 
what similar to our Litany, and the queen, kneeling, said the 
Lord's Prayer. Then, being reseated, the bishop administered 
the coronation oath. The precise words of it are omitted, but 
it has been asserted that it was the same exacted from James I. 
and the Stuart kings of England, who were required to take a 
similar oath — viz., to keep the Church in the same state as 
did King Edward the, Confessor.* Some important points of 
difference certainly existed between the discipline of the Anglo- 
Saxon Church of the eleventh century and the Roman Catholic 
of the sixteenth century; what they were it is the place of 
theologians to discuss. But it is our duty to our subject to 
suggest, as her defence from the horrid appearance of wilful 
perjury, that it is possible she meant at that time to model the 
reformed Church she projected, and for which she challenged 
the appellation of Catholic as near as possible to the Anglo- 
Saxon Church. 

1 The original MS. is in the Ashmolean collection at Oxford. Mr. Nichols has 
printed it verbatim in his Progresses of Elizabeth, vol. L p. 30. And Mr. Planch6 has 
made a pleasant narrative from it, in his Regal Records. 

'i Taylor's Clories of Regality, where the coronation oaths of the English sovereigns 
are printed from authentic documents. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 



When Bbhop Oglethoq)© was kneeling before the altar, the 
qtffien gpre a Iktle book to x lovd to deliver to him; the bishop 
nfused to receive il; and read ia other books; but Hnsiediatet^ 
aftcvwaurds the bishop took the queen^s book, '' and; read it 
befoce her Graec'^ It is supposed that the queen sent, with 
hex hftlde book, a request thiat Oglethorpe woald read the 
gospel and. epistle ia En^ish^ which was donev and it consti- 
tuted doe sode diiTenence between the former CathoHc corona- 
tions afid that of Elissabedi. Then the biishop sang !**♦♦♦ 
the mffis from a niissal, which had been carried in procession 
before the ^ueen. A carpet was spread beft>re the high altar, 
and ci£^rans of gold cioth placed upon it, and ther^ ^retary 
Cecil delivered a book toi tbe bishops another ifish^p^ standing 
at the left of the ahar. 

The qneeoi now approac&ed the altar, and leaned upon 
cushioEis, while her attendants spread a silken ck^h over her, 
and the bishop amaiinted hex.^ It seems she was displeased at 
this pftct of like ceremany, for when it was finished, and she 
retired behind hev traverse, to change her dress, she observed 
to her maids, " that the oil was grease and smelled i^."' * 

When she reappeared before the public in the Abbey, she 
wore & traifi and mantle of ckxth of gold furred with ermine. 
Then a sword widi a gwrdlewas put upon hcTy the beh going 
over OBe shouider and. under the oth^, two garttrs were put 
Ofit her arms- — these were the armilla, or armlets, and were not 
connected with the Oder of the Garter. Then the bi^op pwt 
the crown upon her head, and dehvered the sceptre into her 
head. She was then crowned with another crown, — fvobably 
the crown of Ireland — ^the trmsnpets again soufitdmg. The 
queen then, offered the sword, laying it oa the ahar, and fcnek 
with the scepbre amd cross in her hand, while the bishop* read 
&om a book! 

The queen then. letBmed to her chair of state, the bishop 
put his hands into the queenfs hands, and repeated certain 
words. This was the > homage, the whc^ account- being evi- 
dently given by an eyerwitness, not previously acquainted with 
the ceremony. He asserts that the lords- dad homage to the 
queen, kneeling and k^sing her. He adds, " then the rest of 
the bishops did homage,'' but thss must be a mistake, because 
they would have preceded the nobles. 

1 Here b an hiatus in the^MS. 

^ ^ere is a discrepancy wri3i Khtorical documents, iwfiich dedy that any of tHeCaihoUc 
bishops (and there were n»ot%er in the kingdom) wonid assist in Ae ceremony. 

S Change of apparel was noted before, but it could only hav« .been putting on the coif 
and the preparation for anointing. 

4 Bishop Goodman, Court of James L 

Digitized by VjOOg IC 

Elizabeth 139 

Then the bishop began the mass, the e|HStle bdng cead, fixst 
in Latiaand then in Engtish, tltt gospel tkesaroe — the book 
being sent to the queen^ wiao kissed the gospel. She than 
went to the ahar to make her second ofiferingv thiee nnsheadied 
s^ivovds being borne b^dre faer^ aad one in the seabbavd. The 
queen, kneeling^ put money in the basin^ and kissed the chalice ; 
afflid then and there, certain words were read to her Grace; 
She retired to her seat again dxvring the consecration and kissed 
the paju^ She likewise received the encharist, but did; not 
receive &om the copw^ When mass was. don^ she retired 
behind the high altar, and as usual, offered her crown, robes, 
and regalia, in St Edward's chapel^ coming forth again with 
the state crown cm her head, and sobed in. violet velvet and 
ermine, and so proceeded to the ban<jaet in Westminster 

The champion of England, Sir Edward Djmock, performed 
his official duty, by riding into the hall, in fair, complete 
armour, upon a beaotiiul courser richly trapped with gold cloth. 
He cast down his gauntlet in the midst of the ball, as the 
queen sat at dinner, with offer to fight him^ in the queen's 
rigliitful quarrel^ wbo should deny her to be the lawful queen 
of tilis realm. 

The proclamation of the heraMs on this occasion is an 
historical and literaiy curiosity. The right, ^e champion 
oi&ied to defend, was, accc^difig to the proclamation of Mr. 
Gartei King-at-arms, that "cff the most hijgh and mighty 
princess, our dread sovereign, Lady Elizabeth, by the grace of 
God, Queen of England, France, iveknd, Defender tf tbe^ irme, 
ancient y emd Catholic faith^ fnost %Vt»rthy imprisTfram i&e Oratds 
Isles tp the Mountains Fyrenke. A largess, a largess, a largess." * 

Thas, the title of the supceme heaid of the Chmrch was not 
thett publicly challej^d by Elizabeth,* yet it might appear 
imphed, in the addition to her regal style^ so strangely brought 

1 The pax is « ^iece «f board haying the Image of Chtist upon: the Craea oa it, which 
the people, before the Reformation, used to kiss after the service was ended, that cere- 
mony being «oasid«i«d as the kiss of ^eaoe. The won! has been often confaiiaded with 
tix. — (Johnson's DictionaryS^ 

* Dr. Lingard, vol. vfi. p. 256. 

* - This curious additbn to the scanty records of Eficabeth's- coroaation, is owing to the 
research of Mr. Planch*. See his Hegal Records, p. 47, where it is printed fromiHarL 
MS., Na X386. 

* Bishop Jewel, in a private letter to Bullineer, dated 1559, observes that " Queen 
Elizabeth bad reftised to be styled Head of the Church, as it was a title that oo«tld not be 
jastiir'gwen to any BortaL" Perhaps this herald's protdamatioo gsve rise to this notion 
ef Jcweir who airived in London,, from bamshment at Genrvs, the ver^day of Ktindteth's 
earooataon. Some tortaous.e9(presnon of riiis qnecix miist wrt. (teceived Jewel into hia 
ideat; her proceedings in thepnvate tecenes of her cousdl told a di£Rtrenfettiej but. there 
was much feeling of it» public puke, before she openly to^ the title. But tfatt k one of 
the diark |«ssagcs in history. See much disctesion on thissubject m tlie Zurich letbets* 

140 Elizabeth 

in, after the phrase, " Defender of the true, ancient, and 
Catholic faith " — as if she were empress of the faith of those, 
who renounced the papal domination, from the north of Scot- 
land to the reformers in the south of France. For what but to 
mystify the listening ear with some such idea, could such a 
phrase be interpolated in such a ceremony ? For if she meant 
to challenge the old claim of Bretwalda over Scotland, why 
was it not added to her temporal titles ? besides, by claiming 
the whole kingdom of France, in the preceding sentence, she 
had previously asserted her empire over that country to the 

Labour dire and weary woe is the struggle for those to 
appear consistent, who are wilfully acting a double part; it 
is withal useless. Elizabeth, far-famed as she was for courage, 
personal and mental — and both have, perhaps, been over- 
rated — had not at this juncture the moral intrepidity to assert, 
what she had already assumed and acted on in private. 

One of the earliest regnal acts of Elizabeth, was to send 
friendly and confidential assurances to the kings of Denmark 
and Sweden, and all the Protestant princes of Germany, of her 
attachment to the reformed faith and her wish to cement a 
bond of union between all its professors.^ At the same time, 
with a view of keeping fair with the Catholic powers of Europe, 
and obtaining a recognition, that would ensure the obedience 
of her own subjects of that persuasion, she directed Came, her 
late sister's resident minister at the court of Rome, to announce 
her accession to Pope Paul IV., and to assure him, that it was 
not her intention to offer violence to the consciences of any 
denomination of her subjects, on the score of religion.^ 

The aged pontiff, incensed at the " new doctrine of liberty 
of conscience " implied in this declaration, and regarding with 
hostile feelings the offspring of a marriage, which had involved 
the overthrow of the papal power in England, replied " that he 
was unable to comprehend the hereditary right of one not bom 
in wedlock, that the Queen of Scots claimed the crown, as 
the nearest legitimate descendant of Henry VII., but that if 
Elizabeth were willing to submit the controversy to his arbitra- 
tion, every indulgence should be shewn to her which justice 
would permit." ® Elizabeth immediately recalled her minister. 

' 1 Camden. ^ Fra. Paolo. ^ Lingard. P^llavidno. 

s Paolo Sarpts's Hist. Council of Trent. Pallavicina Lingard. Sirjames Macintosh. 
My learned and deeply lamented friend, the late Mr. Howard of Corby, has, in his 
Supplement to the X3th Appendix of the Howard Memorials, thrown great aoubts on the 
accuracy of this statement, because it has not been mentioned by contemporary historians ; 
neither (which is more important) are there the slightest traces of it b &r Edward Cone's 
letters to Elizabeth, at that period, or any other document in the Sute Paper Office. 

Digitized by VjOOglC 

Elizabeth 141 

The Pope forbade his return, under peril of excommunication ; 
and Carne, though he talked largely of his loyalty to his royal 
mistress, remained at Rome till his death. The bull issued by 
this haughty pontiff, on the 12th of January, 1558-9, declaring 
heretical sovereigns incapable of reigning, though Elizabeth's 
name was not mentioned therein, was supposed to be peculiarly 
aimed at her ; yet it did not deprive her of the allegiance of 
her Catholic peers, all of whom paid their liege homage to her, 
as their undoubted sovereign, at her coronation. 

The new sovereign receiived the flattering submissions of 
her late persecutors, with a graciousness of demeanour, which 
proved that the queen had the magnanimity to forgive the 
injuries, and even the insults, that had been offered to the 
Princess Elizabeth. 

One solitary instance is recorded, in which she used an 
uncourteous expression to a person, who had formerly treated 
her with disrespect, and now sought her pardon. A member 
of the late queen's household, conscious that he had offered 
many petty affronts to Elizabeth, when she was under the 
cloud of her sister's displeasure, came in a great fright to 
throw himself at her feet, on her first triumphant assumption 
of the regal office, and, in the most abject language, besought 
her not to punish him for his impertinences to her when 
princess. "Fear not," replied the queen; **we are of the 
nature of the lion, and cannot descend to the destruction of 
mice and such small beasts 1 " 

To Sir Henry Bedingfeld she archly observed, when he 
came to pay his duty to her at her first court — "Whenever 
I have a prisoner who requires to be safely and straitly kept, 
I shall send him to you." She was wont to tease him by 
calling him her jailor, when in her mirthful mood, but always 
treated him as a friend, and honoured him, subsequently, with 
a visit at his stately mansion, Oxburgh Hall, Norfolk. 

Elizabeth strengthened her interest in the upper house, by 
adding and restoring five Protestant statesmen to the peerage. 
Henry Carey, her mother's nephew, she created Lord Hunsdon ; 
the Lord Thomas Howard, brother to the Duke of Norfolk, 
she made Viscount Bindon ; Oliver St. John, also a connection 

That snch a communication should, however, have heen made by Elizabeth, agrees with 
the temporizing policy of herself and cabinet, and the reply is equally characteristic of 
the pxoud Caraffa jfmntiff, as the head of a Church whickj(»6uld not, consistently with its 
immutable principles, admit the validity of Henry VIII.'s marriage with Anne Boleyn. 
I am therefore disposed to adopt the generally-received opinion, on the authority of the 
historian of the Council of Trent, which has been followed by two acute historians of our 
own times — Dr. Lingard and Sir James Macintosh, who are frequently opposed on other 

^^^ Digitized by Google 

142 Elizabeth 

of the Boleym'4, Baron of Bletsoe. She restored the bro^ier 
of Katharine Parr, Williaii), Margins of Northamptoo, to the 
honoucs he had forfeited m the kte rdgn^ by espouskag the 
cause ^ Lady Jane Gray; aod also, the son of the bM^e 
Protector, Somerset, Edvrard Sey^nour, to Uie title of Earl of 

The morning after her coronation, she went to her chapel^ 
it beiz^ the custom to release prisoners at the inauguration 
of a sovereign — perhaps there was some fiorgotten idigious 
oeremony connected with this act of grace. In her ^eat 
chamber one of her courtier's {»eaented her with a petiticn, 
and before the whole court, m a loud ^vioioe implored "that 
four cff five more prisoners might be released ! " On inquiry, 
he declared them to be " the four evangelisis amd the «pofitfe 
St Paul, who had been long shut up ki an nmknuown tcHigue, 
as it were, in prison, so that they oould not convecse with >the 
oomjaaon people." 

Elizabeth answered rery gravely — " It is best first to inquire 
of them, wiiether they approve of being released or not.'' ^ 

The inquiry was soon after made in thecoxivocation appointied 
by parliament, the result of which was, that the aposdes Jtd 
approve of their ti^inslatton. A teanslation of the Scriptmres 
was imtnediaitely published by rauthonlly, which, afiber several 
revisions, became, in the succeeding reign, the basis ^of cur 
preseat version. 

The religious revolution, effected by Elizabeth ju& rary 
gently and gradually brought to pass. " The queen,'^ writes 
Jewel to Peter Martyr, " though she openly fevours our cause, 
is wonderfully a&aid of allowing any innovations. This is 
owing partly to her own friends, by whose advice everything 
is caixied on, and partly to the indiuence of Count Feria, a 
Spaniard, and Philip's ambassador. She is, however, prudently, 
piously, and firmly fbllbwing up her purpose, though some- 
what more slowly tiian we oould wish." a * -» ♦ i< The queen," 
continues Jewel, " regards you most highly ; she made so mudb 
of your letter, that 3ie nkd it over a second and third time, 
with the greatest eagerness. I doubt not but that your book, 
when it arrives, will be even saoie acceptable." * 

Her charge to her judges, given about the same time, is 
noble m the simplicity of its language. It may be noticed, 
that when Elizabeth used perspicuous phraseology, in speaking 
or wiTtingi she was usually sincere. 

t Bncfin's Apothegms. 

■ Zurich Letters. I Ibid. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 143 

** Have a care over my pecple. Yoo have my people^^lo 
you tkaJtf ytkaclk I ou^t to do. They aie iny peo^e. Every 
man oppresseth ttnd spoikth them without mercy. They 
cannot revenge their quarrel, nor help themselves. See unto 
them — 6ee unto them, for they are my charge. I diarge you, 
eiven as God haAih charged roe. I care not for mryself ; my life 
IS not dear to me. My cane is for my people. I prny Ood, 
whoever succeededi me, be as cuefal as I am. They w^o 
know what canes I bear, would sot Ihink I took any gveat 
joy in wealing a cnown.** 

"These ears^'*' added Dr. Jewel, 'heard her Majesty spedc 
these words." ^ 

The queen rode, in her parliamentary robes, on the 25th 
of January, witH all her peers, spiritual and temporal, in theii 
raibes, to Westminster Al^ey, where she aittended a somewhat 
incongruous religious service. High mass was celebrated at the 
altar* before queen, lords, and commons: the sermon was 
preached by Tix, Cox, Edward's VI.'s Calvinistic schoolmaster, 
who had retursiod from <jLeneva for the purposa The queen^s 
supremacy was debated in -this partiament. Dr. Heairti, the 
Lord Chancellor, who took his seat with the rest of the Catholic 
bishops, spoke against tbj3 measure. Pinaily, the oath of the 
queen's supremacy, as confirmed by parliament, being tendered 
to Dr. Heath, Archbishop of Yoik, and the rest of the Catholic 
bishopsj, all refused it but Llandafif; they were depiived of their 
sees, with vdaiich the jnost illustrious of the PsoteslBnt divines 
were endowed.* 

The learned Dr. Parker, the friend of Anne Boleyn, was 
appointed by the queen, Archbishop of Canterbury. He had 
been an exile for conscience' sake in the reign of Queem Mary ; 
under his auspices the Church of England was established, by 
authority of this session of parliament, nearly in its present 
state ; the common prayer and articles of Edward VI.*s Church 
being restored, with soine important modifkations ; the transla- 
tion of the Scriptures in EngHsh was Hkewise restored to Che 
people. Before the House of Commons was dissolved. Sir 
Thomas Gargrave, their Speaker, craved leave to bring up a 
petition to her Majesty, of vital importance to the realm ; it 
was to entreat that she would marry, that the country might 

1 Strype's Annab, -rot i, part » , p. 30B. Jf^fA^ a 1eara«d Protestant divine, had heeii 
in exile, and returned, on the deafli of Mary, to the convocation heM for settling (^ 
Church of England, of which Elizabeth soon after made him a bidiop. 

2 Dr. Lingsud, voL viL p. 257. 

« Holtnshed, vol. iL p. tSoa. Thirteen CatftoHc Ushefps were the Korftwore expcAled 
their sees. Oglethorpe of Carlisle, who died soon after broken-hearted for having crowned 
the queen, was among them. (Macintosh, vol. iii. p. X4') 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

144 Elizabeth 

have her royal issue to reign over them. Elizabeth received 
the address ^ presented by the Speaker, knights, and burgesses 1. 
of the lower house, seated in state in her great gallery at 
Whitehall Palace. 2 

She paused a short space after listening to the request of the 'I 
commons, and then made a long oration in reply; which ^^' 
Geotge Ferrers, who was present, recorded as near as he could Ij 
bring it away.^ But whether the fault rests with the royal 
oratress or the reporter, this task was not very perspicuously 1 
achieved. In the course of her speech, she alluded very ; 
mysteriously to her troubles in the former reign. 

* * From my years of understanding, " she said, * * knowing myself a servitor J 

of Almighty God, I chose this kind of life, in which I do yet live, as a life ^ 

most acceptable to him, wherein I thought I could best serve him. From 
which my choice, if ambition of high estate offered me in marriage, the ^ 

displeasure of the prince, the eschevnng the danger of mine enemies, or ] 

the avoiding the peril of death, (whose messenger the princess' indignation ;j 

was, continually present before mine eyes,) by whose means, if I knew, or 
do justly suspect, I will not now utter them ; or if the whole cause were 
my sister herself,^ I will not now charge the dead. Could alt have drawn * 

or dissuaded me, I had not now remained in this virgin's estate wherein l 

you see me. But so constant have I always continued in this my determin- 
ation, that though my words and youth may seem hardly to i^ree together, j 
yet, it i$ true, that to this day, I stand free from any other meaning. 

Towards the conclusion of her speech, she made an observa- 
tion, which, some years later, would have seemed to imply the ; 
future advantage of the whole island being united, by the 
succession of the heirs of Stuart to the English throne, yet, 
as Mary of Scotland was then Dauphiness of France, and child- 
less, nothing of the kind could have been in the thoughts of 

** And albeit, it doth please Almighty God, to continue me still in the 
mind to live out of the state of marriage, it is not to be feared but he will 
so work in my heart and in your wisdoms, that as good provision may be 
made in convenient time, whereby the realm shall not remain destitute of 
an heir, that may be a fit governor, and, peradventure, more beneficial to 
the realm, than such offspring as may come of me. For though I be never 
^ careful for your well doings, yet may mine issue grow out of kind and 
become ungracious." 

1 We learn from Mr. Pdgrave's Essay on the King's Council (oommonly called privy 
council), " that the House of Commons used to sit in the Chapter House, Westminster 
Abbey, before the well-remembered chapel of St Stephen was desecrated for their apcom- 
modation. The stately chamber in the Chapter House is still entire — a monument of the 
grandeur of ecclesiastical architecture. 

9 Grafton's Chronicle, and HoHnshed, voL ii. p. 1777. ' 

> It is difficult to define, whether by the three persons named in this involved sentence 
_he /«««*, the j»r/««j^*, ««rf**r*M-/!«r, ElizabctK meai 
Mary, or to include Philip in the blame. 

the prince, the ^ntMSjOfui AfrsisUr, ElizabetK means to designate only the late Queen 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 145 

She then drew from her finger her coronation ring,* and, 
shewing it to the commons, told them that — 

** When she received that ring, she had solemnly bound herself in marriage 
to the realm ; and that it would be quite sufficient for the memorial of her 
name and for her gloty, if, when she died, an inscription were engraved on 
a marble tomb, saying, ' Here lieth Elizabeth, which reigned a virgin, and 
died a virgin.* " 

In conclusion, she dismissed the deputation with these 
words : — 

''I take your coming to me in good part, and. give to ^u eftsoons my 
hearty thanks, yet more for your good will and go(^ meanmg thaii for your 

Elizabeth, when she made this declaration, was in the flower 
of her age, having completed her twenty-fifth year in the pre- 
ceding September, and according to the description given of 
her, at the period of her accession to the throne, by Sir Robert 
Naunton, she must have been possessed of no ordinary personal 

"She was of person tall, of hair and complexion fair, and 
therewithal well favoured, but high nosed ; of limb and feature 
neat, and, which ^dded to the lustre of these external graces, 
of a stately and majestic comportment, participating more of 
her father than of her mother, who was of an inferior allay — 
plausible, or, as the French have it, dehonnair and affable — 
which, descending as hereditary to the daughter, did render her 
of a more sweet temper, and endeared her to the love of the 

She had already refused the proffered hand of her sister's 
widower, Philip II. of Spain, who had pressed his suit with 
earnestness, amounting to importunity, animated by the desire 
of regaining, with another regal English bride, a counterbalance 
to the allied powers of France and Scotland. It has also been 
asserted, that the Spanish monarch had conceived a passion for 
Elizabeth during the life of her sister, which rendered his suit 
more lively ; and assuredly he must have commenced his over- 
tures before his deceased consort's obsequies were celebrated, 
in his eagerness to gain the start of other candidates. Elizabeth 
always attributed his political hostility to his personal pique at 
her declining to become his wife.* 

According to Camden, Philip addressed many eloquent letters 

1 This was a repetition, with variation, of the same action which Queen Maiar had 
previously practised. See Renaud's Despatches. Digitized by VjOOQiC 

9 Dcpfiches de la Mothc Fcnelon. O 

146 Elizabeth 

ta filizjdieth during his short but «ager eouitslnp^ and she took 
infinite pleasure and pnde in pablishinig t^em among her 
courtiers. Philip endeavoured also to overcome the scruples 
of his foyal sister-in-law, whom^ on that occasion, he certainly 
treated as a iseiaber of the Church of Rome, by assuring har 
"that there would be »o difficulty in obtairmg a dispensation 
from the Pope for their marriage." Elizabeth felt, however, 
that it would be a marriage even more objectionable than that 
of her father, Henry VIII., with Katharine of Arragon ; and 
that for her to become a party in matrimony, contracted under 
such circumstances, wo«ild at onc^ by viitnaHy invalidating her 
own legitimacy, ileclare Mary Queen of Scots l^e rightful heiress 
of the late queen, her sister, in the succession to the throne 
of England ^ and Elizabeth had no inclination to risk the con- 
tii^ncy of exchanpng the regal garland of Plantagenet and 
Tudor for the crown matrimonial of Spain. Yet she had a 
difficuk and a delicate ganve to play, for the friendship of Spain 
appeared to be her only bulwark against the combined forces 
of France and Scotland. She had succeeded to an «mpty 
exchequer, a realm dispirited by the loss of Calais, burdened 
with debt, embarrassed with a base coinage, and a starving 
population ready to break into a oivll war, under the pretext 
of deciding the strength of rival creeds by the sword. More- 
over, her title to the Sirone had been already impugned, by the 
King of France compelling his youthful daughte;r-in-law, the 
Queen of Scots, then in her sixteenth year, and entirely under 
his oontrol, to assume the arms and regal style of England. 
"On the i6th of January, 1559, the Dauphin of France and the 
Queen of Scotlaiid, his wife, dld^ by the style and tide of King 
and Queen of England and Ireland, grant to Lord Fleming 
certain things," notes Sir William Cecil in his diary. A brief 
and quiet entry of a debt incurred in the name of an irrespon- 
sible childy which was hereafter to be paid with heavy interest 
in tears and blood, by that aUrfated princess, whose name had, 
in the brief season of her morning splendour, £lled the hearts 
of Elizabeth and her council with alarm. 

If Elizabeth had shared the feminine propensity of leaning 
on others for succour in the time of danger, she would probably 
have accepted inglorious protection, with the nuptial ring oif 
Philip, but she partook not of the nature of the ivy, but the 
oak, being formed and fitted to stand alone, and she met the 
crisis bravely. She was new to the cares of empire, but the 
srtudy of history had given her experience and knowledge in 
the regnal science, beyond what can be acquired, during years 

Digitized by V^OOglC 

Elizabeth 147 

of persenal attempts «t goi^erning, b^ mtmorcte, ivho have 
wasted ^leir youthful energies in the pursuit of pieasure or 
meiie Ung&r-eod ajcoompHishments. The ahfurt by which sine 
steered was marked with 4iie rocks, the qnicksandB, and the 
shoajs on idnich the barks of other princes had been wiecked; 
and eh& knew that, of all the faJse beacons, that had alhmred 
tbe feeble minded to disgrace and ruin, tbe expedient of call- 
ing in foreign aid, in seasons cf nettixanal distress, isas the imost 
fa^. She knew the £ngUsh chaxacrter, and she had seen i&x 
ersls amd dkcdntents, that had sprung fcio«n her sister's Spcmasit 
raaartiafge, amd in ker own case^ these woald have been aggsa- 
vatad hj tiie invalidation of her title to the throne. She there- 
&M-e firmlj, but oouiteoiisly, decfined the proposal, vnder tbe 
pdea of scFD^les of conscience, vbich ^vere to her insuperabdiCL 
This xdfjosai preceded her coronation, for the Spanish ambas- 
sador. Count Feria, in consequence of the slight which he con- 
cexred had been put upon his master, "by lihe maiden nxaoaixrh 
declining the tfaini reversion of his hand, feigned sockness as 
an excuse for not assisting at that ceremonial. 

The oext mcaith, Philip pledged bimself to the beautifiil 
ElixabelJk of Fitance, a perilous alliance for Elizabeth of Eng- 
land ; it cendered Phiiip of Spain and the ha^and of Mary 
Qoeen of Scots, the ifomxidable livai of ^r title, brothiers-in- 

Elizabeth's £rst care was to procure an act, for the reoog- 
mtioEi and dedaring of her own tide, from her parliament, 
which was -unanimously passed, and without any allusion to 
her mother's marria^, or the stigma, that had prerioiBly been 
put on her oovn birth. The statute declares her to be " rigbdy, 
lineally, and iairv&illy descended from the blood royal,'' and 
pronounces ** ali sentences and acts of parliament derogatory 
to this declaration to be void." The latter clause is tantamount 
to a repeal x)f all those dishonouring statutes, which had passed 
in the reign of Henry Vill. against her motber and heisdf ; 
and, in addition, an act was passed, which, -without j^eversiog 
the attainder of Anne Boleyn, Tendered Elizabeth inheritable 
to her motbw, and to all her maternal ancestors.^ This was a 
prudential care for securing, malgrd all the chances and changes 
thait might befal the Crown, a sl:^ve in the weahh tji the citizen- 
family of Boleyn, iim^y'mgy at the same lame, that she was the 
lawful representative of the elder oo-heiress of that house, and, 
of course, bom in ^wful wecBock ; but in a nobler spirit would 
it have been, to have used the same influence;, for the vindica- 

1 Journals of Parliament. ^ t 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

148 Elizabeth 

tion of her mother's honour, by causing the statutes which 
infamed her to be swept from the records. The want of moral 
courage on the part of Elizabeth, in leaving this duty unper- 
formed, was injurious to her own royal dignity, and has been 
always regarded as a tacit admission of Anne Boleyn's guilt. 
Many writers have argued that it was a point of wisdom in 
Elizabeth, not to hazard calling attention to the validity of her 
father's marriage with Anne Boleyn, or the charges against that 
unfortunate queen ; but inasmuch as it was impossible to pre- 
vent those subjects froin continuing, as they alw^ays had been, 
points of acrimonious discussion, her cautious evasions of ques- 
tions so closely touching her own honour gave rise to the very 
evils she was anxious to avoid ; and we find that a gentleman 
named Laboume was executed at Preston, who died saying, 
"Elizabeth was no queen of England, but only Elizabeth 
BuUen, and that Mary of Scotland was rightful, sovereign."^ 

Notwithstanding the danger of her position, from the prob- 
able coalition of the powers of Catholic Europe against her, 
Elizabeth stood undaunted, and, though aware of the difficulty 
of maintaining a war, with sudi resources as she possessed, 
she assumed as high a tone, for the honour of England, as the 
mightiest of her predecessors, during the conferences at Chateau 
Cambresis, for the arrangement of a general treaty of pacifica- 
tion, and, declining the offered mediation of Philip II., she 
chose to treat alone. She demanded the restoration of Calais, 
as the prominent article, and that in so bold and persevering a 
manner, that it was guaranteed to her, at the expiration of 
eight years, by the King of France, under a penalty of 500,000 
crowns.* With a view to the satisfaction of her subjects, she 
caused Lord Wentworth, the last Lord Deputy of Calais, and 
others of the late commanders there, to be arraigned, for the 
loss of a place more dear than profitable to Engird, and also 
to shew how firmly the reins of empire could be grasped, in 
the hand of a maiden monarch. Wentworth was acquitted by 
his peers, the others were found guilty and condemned, but 
the sentence was never carried into execution. 

During the whole of Lent, the queen had kept the fast, 
heard sermons regularly, and apparelled herself in black ; but 
the happy restoration of peace caused the Easter festival to be 
observed with unusual rejoicings. On St George's Day, the 
queen went about the hall, and all the Knights of the Garter, 
singing in procession. The same day, in the afternoon, were 

* Letter in Stipe's Annals, printed by Barker, queen's printer. 
S Camden. Hayward. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 149 

four knights elected — ^viz., the Duke of Norfolk, the Marquis 
of Northampton, the Earl of Rutland, and the Lord Robert 
Dudley, master of the queen's horse. The following lines, 
from a contemporary poet, may not be displeasing to the 
reader : — 

** I saw a virgin queen, attired in white, 
Leading with her a sort of goodly knights, 
With garters and with collars of St. George ; 
Elizabeth, on a compartiment 
Of bice, in gold, was writ,^ and hung askew 
Upon her head, under a royal crown. 
She was the sovereign of the knights she led. 
Her fiice methought I knew, as if the same, 
The same great empress that we now enjoy. 
Had climbed the clouds, and been in person there. 
To whom the earth, the sea, and elements 
Auspicious are."^ 

When Elizabeth came to the throne, she found herself in a 
novel position as r^arded the Order of the Garter, for her 
brother-in-law, Philip of Spain, had, in consequence of his 
marriage with her late sister, Queen Mary, been constituted, 
by the authority of parliament, joint sovereign of the order 
with his royal consort Elizabeth having no wish to hold any 
dignity in partnership with him, yet desiring to do all things 
with proper courtesy, caused his banner to be removed to the 
second stall on the prince's side, intimating that he continued 
a knight companion of the order, though he had, by the death 
of the queen his wife, lost the joint sovereignty. Philip, how- 
ever, returned the garter by the hands of the queen's ambas- 
sador, Lord Montague, who had been sent to negotiate a 
peace; but Elizabeth did not accept his resignation, and he 
continued a companion of the order tiU his death, notwith- 
standing the hostile character of his subsequent proceedings 
towards England.' 

Elizabeth''s first chapter of the order was certainly held in 
St. George's Hall at Greenwich, for we find, that the same 
afternoon she went to Baynard's Casde, the Earl of Pembroke's 
place, and supped with him ; and after supper she took boat, 
and was rowed up and down on the river Thames, hundreds of 
boats and barges rowing about her, and thousands of people 
thronging the banks of the river to look upon her Majesty, 

1 Lc, the name " Elizabeth " was written, or illuminated in bice, (a green colour,) on a 
gold label, or fillet. 

S George Peele's Poem on the Honour of the Garter, printed in the year x593« Quoted 
by Sir Harris Nicolas, in his splendid work, the Order of the Garter. 

s History of the Order of the Gaiter, by Sir H. Nicolas, voL i. pp. 184, x88, 189. 

Digitized by VjOOg IC 

150 Elizabeth 

rtjpicmg to see her, and pa/vtaking of the music and sights osl 
Ch^ Thames, it seems there was aiK aquatic festifval, m honour 
of the irekome appearance of their mew and comely liege lady 
cm the liver, for the trumpets blew, drums beat, flutes placed, 
guns were discharged, and fireworks played off, as ^le moved 
from place to place. This continued till ten o'clock at night, 
when the queen departed home.^ 

By thus shewing herself so freely andi condescendingly to 
her people, she made herself dear and acceptable unto them. 
Well, indeed, had nature qualified Elizabeth to play her part, 
with Sc/af, in the imposing drama of royalty, by the endowments 
of wit, eloquence, penetration, and self-possession, joined to 
the advantages of comtnanding features and a majestic presence. 
She had, from childhood upwards, studied the art of courting 
popularity, and perfectly understood how to please the great 
body of the people. The honest-hearted mechanical classes, 
won bf the frank manner, in which she. dispensed the cheap, 
bat dearly-prijed &vQurs of gracious woordsaiui smiles, legarded 
ber with iediegs appraoLching to idolatry; and as for the 
yonngrar nobles and gentlemen of Ejagland, who attended her 
eonrt, they were, almost to a man, eager for the opportunity 
of making their Hivea in her sendee; and she knew how to 
tmpcove the love and loyalty of all ranks of her subjects^ to the 
adtvancemrcnt of her power and ldie> defence of her realm. 

The pecuniary aisds gioiated by h^ first parijament to Queen 
EHzabeih, thoo^ only pcopordbned to the extreme necessity 
cd the Crown, at that pe-iod, were eaormous,. for,, besides the 
tenths, fast £niiits,and impropriations of Church profterty, which 
had been dedioed by Mary, and the grant of tonnagp and 
poundage for life^ they voted a subsidy of two. and eightpence 
in the pound on all movable goods, arid four shiUing!» on land, 
toi be paid in two sev«raJ payments..^ Haw such a pvopecty 
tax was ever gathered, after a year of famine and peslilencc^ 
must indeed appear a marvel to those, whowitness the ioxitadon 
and ioconvemence cansed to the needy portioni of the middle 
classes, by the infliction of a cooaaparatively trivial impost at 
pcesent It is always eaagr '' to convince the wealthy, of the 
expediency of sacrificing a part to save the whole ; thecefori^ 
EUzabeth and her acute premier, Cecil, laid a heavier burden 
on the lords of the soil, and those who derived their living 
from ecclesiastical property, than on those whose possessions 
were limited to personals, which, at that time, were chiefljf the 
mercantile and mechanical classes. 

A Nichols' Vtottessea. t fiy statute rat Bits, cap* at. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 151 

The desdtutioai of ^le Cioiva hanng been thss reliere^ a 
serie& off pageants and festnrities wore wisely ordamed by the 
qntsn^ as a sure means of dzvertini^ Idie attentkm of die good 
people of London and its neigfabaiarhocxl from past tmol^es 
and piesent dsanges. Stowe givies a t^aint aocound of her 
Majesty coming, in great stsetie^ to* St. Mary% Spdtal, to hear 
a sermon defiveiod from the cross^ on which occasion she was 
attended by one thousand men in haroiess, wkh shirts' c^ mail) 
pikes, and field-pieces, with dmmi and trumpets somidmg. 
The procession was closed by moirisKiancers and two white 
hears ki a cart. These hicklesB ammals were, ol course^ to 
£ttinD(tsh< a cmdi pageant km die liecrealioa of the qoeen and her 
loifing cidzeasi. after the sepnoix was eododL 

in a letJter o£ the i4di of April, that eminent veformer, 
Jewd, kuoaenls, . that the queen continuied the celebration of 
mass in^ her pnvate chapeL It was not until the rzth of May^ 
that, the secTtoe waschanged, and. the i&se of Latm discotitimaed. 
"Theqtfieen," observes Jewel, *^dficlfiies being styled the head 
of the Church, at \duch I certainly am not much displeased." 
Elizabeth assumed the title of governess of the Qvurch, but 
she finally asserted her supremacy, in a scarcely less autkori- 
tatire manner diat her fatbher had di^nCr and many Catholics 
were put to deadi for denQriiig it 

Touching the suitors for Elixabedi*^ hand, Jewel tells his 
Zmich correspondent "that nothing is yet talked about the 
q>Uteen's macriage^ yet there are now courting her the King of 
Sweden, the Saxon (son of John Frederic, Duke of Saxony^ 
and Chadesi the son of the Emperor Ferdinand, to say nothing 
of the Englishman^ Sic William Pickernig;. I know, however, 
what I should prefer; hut mattecs of this kind, as you are 
avvare, ate rather mysterioats^ and we have a common pr<pve«bj 
that mmiages are made m heaven." In another letter, dated 
May S3^'£559^ he ^s^ "thab publdc opimioa: incfoes towards 
Sir William Pickering, a wise and reHgious man, and h^hfy 
gi£ked as to personal quaditiea'' 

Jewel is the first person, who mentions Pickering among the 
aspiarants for the hand of Queen EMzabetlL I& had been 
employed on diplomatic missions to Germany and France^ with 
some credit to himself, and the queen bestowed so many 
marks of ^tention upon him, that .the Spanish ambassador, as 
well as our good bishop and fixthers, fiEuncied thait he had as 
Sain a chance of situcces^ asiithe sons of reigrung primcesi Me 
is ateo motioned by Camdcn.^as a gentleman, of modeiate 
fortune, but comely person-*' It i& possible that Pickeriner had 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

152 Elizabeth 

performed some secret service for Elizabeth, in the season of 
her distress, which entitled him to the delusive honour of her 
smiles, as there is undoubtedly some mystery in the circum- 
stance of a man, scarcely of equestrian rank, encouraging hopes 
so much above his condition. Be this as it may, he quickly 
vanished from the scene, and was forgotten. 

On the 23rd of May, a splendid embassy from France, 
headed by the Duke de Montmorenci, arrived, for the purpose 
of receiving the queen's ratification of the Treaty of Cambresis. 
They landed at the Tower Wharf, and were conducted to the 
Bishop of London's palace, where they were lodged. On the 
following day, they were brought in great state by a deputation 
of the principal nobles of the court, through Fleet Street, to a 
supper-banquet with the queen, at her palace at Westminster, 
where they were entertained with sumptuous cheer and music 
till after midnight On the following day they came gorgeously 
apparelled to dine with her Majesty, and were recreated after- 
wards with the baiting of bears and bulls. The queen's grace 
herself and the ambassadors stood in the gallery, looking on 
the pastime, till six in the evening. On the 26th, another 
bull and bear baiting was provided, for the amusement of the 
noble envoys at Paris Garden, and on the 28th, when they 
departed, they were presented with many mastiffs, for the 
nobler purpose of himting their wolves.^ 

On the nth of June, at eight o'clock at night, the queen 
and her court embarked in their barges at Whitehall, and took 
their pleasure on the river, by rowing along the bank, and 
crossing over to the other side, with drums beating and 
trumpets sounding, and so to Whitehall again. The Londoners 
were so lovingly disposed to their maiden sovereign, that when 
she withdrew to her summer bowers at Greenwich, they were 
fain to devise all sorts of gallant shows, to furnish excuses for 
following her there, to enjoy, from time to time, the sunshine 
of her presence. They prepared a sort of civic tournament in 
honour of her Majesty, July 2nd, each company supplying a 
certain number of men at arms« 1400 in all, all clad in velvet 
and chains of gold, with guns, morris pikes, halberds, and flags, 
and so marched they over London Bridge, into the Duke of 
Suffolk's park at Southwark, where they mustered before the 
JLord Mayor; and in order to initiate themselves into the 
hardships of a campaign, they lay abroad in St. Geiorge's 
Fields all that night. The next morning they set forward in 
goodly array, and entered Greenwich Park at an early hour, 

1 Strype and Nicholi. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 153 

where they reposed themselves till eight o'clock, and then 
marched down into the iawn, and mustered in their arms, all 
the gunners being in shirts of mail. It was not, however, till 
eventide that her Majesty deigned to make herself visible to 
the doughty bands of Cockaine — chivalry they cannot properly 
be called, for they had discreedy avoided exposing civic 
horsemanship to the mockery of the gallant equestrians of 
the court, and trusted no other legs than their own, with the 
weight of their valour and warlike accoutrements, in addition 
to their velvet gaberdines and chains of gold, in which this 
midsummer bevy had bivouacked in St. George's Fields on the 
preceding night At five o'clock, the queen came into the 
gallery of Greenwich Park Gate, with the ambassadors, lords, 
and ladies — a fair and numerous company. Then the Lord 
Marquis of Northampton (Queen Katharine Parr's brother 
whom, like Edward VI., Elizabeth ever treated as an uncle,) 
her great uncle. Lord William Howard, Lord Admiral of 
England, and the Lord Robert Dudley, her master of the 
horse, undertook to review the city muster, and to set their 
two battles in array, to skirmish before the queen, with flourish • | 

of trumpets, alarum of drums, and melody of flutes, to j 

encourage the counts champions to the fray. Three onsets j 

were given, the guns discharged on one another, the Moorish ' j 

pikes encountered tc^ether with great alarm, each ran to his 
weapon again, and then they fell together as fast as they could, 
in imitation of close fight, while the queen and her ladies 
looked on. After all this, Mr. Chamberlain, and divers of the 
commoners of the city, and the wifflers, came before her Grace, 
who thanked them heartily, and all the city ; whereupon was 
given the greatest shout ever heard, with hurling up of caps, 
and the queen shewed herself very merry. After this was a 
running at tilt ; and, lastly, all departed home to London. 

As numerous, if not as valiantly disposed a company, poured 
down from the metropolis to Woolwidi on the morrow ; for on 
that day, July 3rd, the queen went in state to witness the launch 
of a fine new ship of war, which, in honour of her, was called 
"The Elizabeth." 

The gallantry of the city muster inspired the gentlemen of 
the court with loyal emulation, and they determined to tilt on 
foot, with spears before the queen, also, in Greenwich Park. 
The challengers were three, the Earl of Ormond, Sir John 
Perrot, and Mr. North, and there were defendants of equal 
prowess with lances and swords. The whole of the queen's 
band of pensioners were, however, to run with spears,^and pre- 

Digitized by CjOOQIC 

154 Elizabeth 

parations -were made for a royal mdmilitary^S^ €ikap^^re^snC\k 
as might be imitated, with admirable effeot, in Windsor Park 
even now. It was both the policy aod pleasure of the tLast ^ 
the Tudor sovereigns, to keep her loving metropolis in good 
hunioar, bf aHowing the peo]^ to participate, as far at least as 
looking on went, in her prinodyxecreations. Half the popularitj 
of Elizabeth jproceeded from the care she took, that the holidays 
of her subjects should be merry days. " if ever any person 
had either the gift or the style to win the hearts of peoj^" 
says Haywand, " it was this qaeen." But to return to her July 
evening pageant, in the green glades of Greenwich Park. A 
goodly banquetii^ house was bui^t up for her Grace with fir 
poles, and decked widi birch branches and a^ manner of 
flowers, both of the field and garden, as roses, July floftvecs, 
lavender, marygolds, and aM mannear of strewing herbs and 
mslies. There were also tents set lup for providing refresh- 
ments, and a space made for the tiking. About 6ve in the 
afternoon came the queen, with the ambassadors and the lords 
and lacfes of her train, and stood t>yer the park-gate, to see 
the exercise of arms, and afterwaords the combatants chasing 
one another. Then the queen took ber horse, and, acoon^ 
pamed by three ambassadors and iier retinue, rode to thesyliran 
pavilion, where a costly iaanquet was pEovided ior her. This 
was succeeded by a mask, and the entertainment closed, with 
fireworks and firing «f gans, about midnight^ 

But while Elizabeth appealed to enter into these gay scenes 
of festive pageantry, with all ihe aest of a young, sprightly^ 
and handsome woman, who, emerging sudxie^ from restraint, 
retirement, and neglect, finds IheEself the ddk^xt 'of every «ye 
and the idol JOf ail heaorts, her mind was intent on matters <rf 
high import, and she knew that the flowecs, with which her 
path was strewn, ooncealed many a dangerous quicksand irom 
those who looked not below the sadkoe. Within. one iittle 
month of the soiemn ratification of <the Treaty of Chateau Cme^ 
bresis, by the plenipeiteBtoaries -of f'cance in her court, ber 
right to the crown she wore had been hokiiy impugned by 
Heiu-y II.'s principal minister of state, the Constable de Mont- 
morenoi, who, when the £hike <de NeaouiSi a prince nearly 
allied to the throne of Franoe, informed him of his tntentioo of 
seeking the Qoeen of England in marriage, eaodaimed-r" Do 
you not know that the que&i'^oJj^iBm has right and title to 
Engiand ? ^ ^ A pnbhc demonstratkan of this daim was made» 

1 Nichols' Progresses, vol. L 

* Torbe^ State Papers, toL L -p. T36. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 155 

at the joosts m honoor of liie espousals of the French king'^s 
sister, wkh the Ddoc of Savo^^ Elizabeth's oft-rejected sttk<»r, 
when the Scotxrh herabis dn^yed the lescutcheoa of iheir 
royal mistress, the Queen of Scots t^uartered, with those of 
France and England^ which was af4ierwards .protested agaiost 
by the EngHsh asuihassador Throckmorton.^ 

lit was retorted that Elizabedi had. assumed the title ef 
Queen of France at her coronatioo — a pretension too ahswd, 
as the opecatioiEi of the SaUc law had alwa|«s ti^capa^itated 
females^ iiam inhecking the sceptre of that realm, even when 
bom ^as m the case of the daughter of Louis Hutin) sote 
issue of a reignhtg inooardi, representbig the aAcieot' royal line 
of France. CaGads, thedast rehc id the conquests of Edward III. 
and Hrairy V., was now in the hands of the French Gavenir 
ment } and aldunigh Henry II. had virtually acknowledged the 
right of Elizabeth to that towxi, by bindktg himself to restore it 
at the end of ieight years, aod a >dhifnerical proposition had also 
been made ito settle al dispiskes Ifor its possessiion, by both 
claimanks ^oeding kySS sl naarciage poortian, to an imaginary Gsst- 
bom scon of Eiizabetih,. And dati^er of Mary Stuart^iby I^ands 
of Valois, or otheorwise, to the son of Maiy and das^ter of Eliza* 
beth, it was mere temporizing diplomacy. The ve^tlty plan 
of imitit^ the Gallic ami&Ltannicempires^beneath the sceptres 
of Pnmds of Valois and Mary of Scodajwl, had never ceased 
to occupy the atitention of Henry 11^ from the death of 
Edwaard YI. till his own course was suddenly cut short, by the 
accidental wound he neoeived, 6om a splinter of his oppcment'fl 
]ance,^ whiJe tilting in honour of his daiughtar's nuptials. That 
ereat produced an important change in the fortunes of England's 
^izaheth. She mras at once iMivered fcom the most dangjerous 
and insidoous of her foes, and t^ consequenoes of the iox- 
midabSe alliance between France and Spain ; foir although the 
nral claims of Juis consort to the throne of England were 
asserted by Francis II., he was.a sickly youth, inheriting neither 
the taiesits oor the Incident of his fa^er* The nominal power 
of F'mnce and Scotland, both 'passed into the hands of Mary 
Stnaxt'j uncles, the Piittces of Lorraine and Guise ; but the 
nval tuitions, bdth poditical a»d reitgiousi by which they were 
opposed and impeded 'On 'every side, deppiyed them of the 
means <of injuring Elizabeth, who, ^on her paxt, actiMelir 'omploycKi 
agents, as numerous as the arms of Bnaxius^ in sowing the 

1 Forbes' State Pipers^ vol L fk z^ 

V Count de Montgomeri, the captain of the Scotch guard, and afterwards a celebrated 
leader of the ^Tuguenot party. ^ t 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 

156 Elizabeth 

seeds of discord, and nursing every root of bitterness, that 
sprang up in those unhappy realms. The fulminations of John 
Knox against female government had incited the reformed 
party to resist the authority of the queen-dowager, Mary of 
Lorraine, to whom the Regent Arran had in 1555 reluctantly 
resigned his office. The queen-regent, after an ill-judged, 
fruitless struggle to crush the progress of the Reformation, 
summoned the Earl of Arran, who had recently accepted the 
French dukedom of Chatelherault, to her aid, as the most 
powerful peer in Scotland, and the next in succession to the 
throne, on which, in fact he had, from the first, cast a longing 
regard. He was the head of the potent house of Hamilton, 
but his designs had been checked by the rival faction of the 
Earl of Lenox, and subsequently by the more popular and able 
party of the young queen's illegitimate brother, the Earl of 
Murray ; and now, although he gave his lukewarm succour to 
the queen-regent in her need, he suffered himself to be deluded 
by the English cabinet, with the idea that the crown might be 
transferred, from the brows of his absentee sovereign to his 
own, or rather, to those of his heir the Earl of Arran, to whom 
Queen Elizabeth had been offered in her childhood, by her 
father Henry VIH.i 

There is every reason to believe, that Cecil seriously medi- 
tated uniting the island crowns by a marriage between his 
royal mistress and young Arran, if the Hamilton party in Scot- 
land had succeeded in deposing Queen Mary, and placing him 
on the throne. The young earl, who had been colonel of the 
Scotch guards at Paris, had, in anticipation of a more brilliant 
destiny, embraced the reformed religion, and, as it was sup- 
posed, at the suggestion and with the aid of Throckmorton, 
Elizabeth's ambassador at Paris, absconded from the French 
service ; and after visiting Geneva, to arrange his plans with the 
leaders of that Church, he came privately to England. The 
secret and confidential conference which he held with Queen 
Elizabeth, on the 6th of August,^ must have taken place at the 
ancient palace of Eltham, where she arrived on the preceding 
day. Axran was young and handsome, but weak-minded ; at 
times, indeed, subject to the direful malady which clouded the 
mental perceptions of his father and brothers, just the subject 
for the royal coquette, and her wily premier, to render a ready 
tool in any scheme, connected with hopes of aggrandizement 
for himself. 

As the plan and limits of this work will not admit of launch- 

i Forbes' State Papers. Lingard. Sharon Turner. > LingatxL 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 157 

ing into the broad stream of general history, the events of the 
Scotch campaign, which commenced with Elizabeth sending an 
army and a fleet to aid the insurgent lords of the congregation, 
in defending themselves against the French forces, called in by 
the queen-regent, and ended by giving her a predominant 
power, in the councils of that distracted realm, cannot be de- 
tailed here. The MSS. in the State Paper Office attest the 
fact, that the Lord James, Mary's illegitimate brother, (after- 
wards so celebrated as the Regent Murray,) and the principal 
leaders of the popular party, were the pensioners of Elizabeth. 
The Treaty of Edinburgh was framed according to her interest, 
and proved, of course, unsatisfactory to the Queen of Scots and 
her consort. " I will tell you freely," said Mary's uncle, the 
Cardinal of Lorraine, to the English ambassador Throckmorton, 
" the Scots do perform no part of their duties ; the king and 
queen have the names of their sovereigns, and your mistress 
hath the effect and obedience." * 

The congregational parliament had despatched a solemn 
embassy to Elizabeth, consisting of Lethington and the earls 
of Morton and Glencaim, to entreat her to join in marriage 
with the Earl of Arran ; the Cardinal Lorraine, in allusion to 
the errand of these nobles, said to Throckmorton — "This 
great legation goeth for the marriage of your queen with the 
Earl of Arran. What shall she have with him ? I think her 
heart too great to marry with such a one as he is, and one of 
the queen's subjects." ^ 

It was not in Elizabeth's nature to return an immediate or 
direct answer, in any matter of state policy, especially, if involv- 
ing a proposal of marriage. The unexpected death of the royal 
husband of the Queen of Scots, probably hastened Elizabeth's 
decision with regard to her Scottish suitor, and she declined 
the offer in terms of courtesy ; thanking the nobles at the same 
time for their good will, " in offering her the choicest person 
they had." * Arran immediately afterwards became, as doubt- 
less Elizabeth was aware he would, the suitor of his own fair 
sovereign, the widowed Mary. Stuart. 

It will now be necessary to return to the chronological order 
of the personal history of Elizabeth, which we have a little 
antedated, in putting the reader in possession of the result of 
the Earl of Arran's courtship. The queen had many wooers in 
the interim, both among foreign princes and her own subjects. 
Of these, Henry Fitzalan Earl of Arundel, claims the first 

1 State Paper MS., letter of Throckmorton to Elizabeth. 
S Sute Paper MSS., Throckmorton to Elizabeth. 

Digitized by"vjO'OQlC 




ntentioa as the foreiBost in rank joid: consequence. He was 
the pireiBkr earl of England, aiad at that time thece was but 
one peer of the dacal ordeiv fais aon-iivlasw Tbomss Howaid 
Duke of Noc&iUc. As &e last made of the iJ^tnous house of 
Fitzahm, he boasixd the blood of the FLaiitage»et& aod of the 
ancient roj^al line of Charlemagne and St. Louis,, and he was 
nearly alHed In blood to the queen as a descendant of Wood- 
viUtt. £arl of Rivez&; his possessions were paropordoned to his 
high rank aood proud descent He had been mateiialliy iostru- 
menial in placing the crown on the head of the rightful heiress, 
Qiseen Mary^ at the time oi die bnef usuipadon of the hapless 
1^7 Jaoe Gcay; and,.tho«igh his ardent loyalty to the late 
queen aaad his zeal for the old religion, had induced him at 
first to take part a^oinslt Elizabeth^ at tiie time of the Wyat 
rebellion ; ive have shewn how soon his manly heart revolted 
ia hei favour, aiad that she was in all pcohabiHty indebted to 
his powerful protection, for the presetvainon of her life, fipom 
the oQAlignatit and lawless practices of Gaxdiner and bis party. 
It is certaam: that he forfedted the iavom of Mary, by the bold- 
ness, with which he afberwards stood forth in the court, the 
council, and the senate^ as the advocate of Idle captive princess, 
and that he was employed in embassies to^ foresgn courts, to 
keep hsm from dangerous enterporises at homei.^ His only son, 
whom he bad tsffered to oonlract to* Btizabeth in marriage, in 
the time*^ of her great adversitjr, was no more^ and tise stout 
earl, who had not exceeded his forty-sevearth year, recalling 
perchance some o£ the artful compliments to himself, irith 
which the royal maid had declined to enter into an engage* 
ment with his heir, hastened home from Boussels, (hl the death 
of her sister, and presented hknadfasia camdidate for her 
hand. Of all the kDtvers of EHzabetb, his attachment was 
probably the most sincere, as it commenced in the season of 
persecutioD. He now^ as lord steward of the royal hoosehold, 
enjoyed. many opportunities of prefierring his suit, and, albeit 
the maiden Majesty of England had no intendon of becoming 
the third wife of one of her subjects, dd enough to be her 
father, she gave him sufficient encomsgement to excite the 
jealousy of the other couxriersy if not to a§brd himself reason- 
able, hopes of success. 

About tiie 8th of Augpst^ i559) the qusen hononned him 
with a visit at Nonsnch^.^ one of the royal residences of which 

» State Paper Records. 

> This sylvan palace, which viras built by Henry VIII., «t a gieat enwase, for his 
pleasure aod f«tisement, combined ckganoe, with «U that magaificeDoe oould be«tow. It 

Digitized by VjOOglC 

Elizabeth 159 

be aq)pears to h&veiifataiiied a lease from. Qaeen Mai^ Here» 
en the Sunday ni^niv he entertained ha Majestj with a 
sumpknous. banquet, and x; mask accampajmied with miHtaxj 
iiiQsie; till midiaght. On. Monday a^spieadad supper was pro* 
vided ka the royal) gnest^ wha pfesrsoiisly,. from & stand erected 
for Iber in the. finlOier park, witnessed a cohts& At ni^t^ the 
children of St Paid^ school, tinder the ddrectasoo oS theaat 
music-master, Sebastian,, performed a play, which was sue* 
ceeded fay a costly honquet whh music The queen was 
9DB7Ted 091 richly-gilded pkte, tte entertaimnent lasted tiH the 
umisuallj late hour of thsee ia the morning, and the earl pre- 
sented her Ma^esty^ witlr a cupboard of p^e, whach was the 
first o£ those expensive offerings Elimbetht habitually acicus* 
txmed herself to Tssses^e, and sometimes almost extorted fiom 
hec nobles. Bf fesdiag the hopes of Arundel^ Eliiafaeth ob- 
tained his TOte and inflnence in the conncil and senate^, when* 
ever she had a poinit to carry^ eras with regasd to the peax:eful 
estabU^uDient tk the Reficmned Chmclu^ The myal wei^on of 
coque^ was aka exercised, though in a playful and gcacioua 
manner, towaiids her fooner crael foe,. Paiotet, Marquis of Win- 
diester, die Lord Treasurer, by whom die was splendidly enter- 
tEOMned^ at his house at Baaing, sooa aftec her accession ta the 
thrsne; at her depactorej her Majesty merrily bemoaned 
becsetf thM he was so old^ ^for eke, fay my tsoth,^ said she,, 
^^nxy Lord Tceasurer were bui: a ycuug man, I GG(ald:fiQdii 
ia my heejt to have him foe my hoslsund befbis' any man 
in Engknd''^ 

Whoa the aiasiouncement of the marriage of her former 
suitor, Philip II. , with her fair namesake of Franaej was made 
to EJizabeth, she pretended to Seel mortified, and comp^ned 
to the ambassador of the mconstancy of his master, " viio 
Goahl nolv" she saidv " wadt fomr short mcmths to see i£ she 
wooM change her mindii'' ^ She always kept the pocteait of this 
pnnce by her besdside, it has been, said, as a txDken of regard, 
but the probability is, that she fomnd it there, when she took 
possession of the state apartments occupied by the late queen 
her sister. 

The person, however, who held the mo§t conspicuous place 

was adoroed with many statues and eastSk, and vtuaicd ia the midst of parks full of deer, 
deliciouf gardenSi graves ocnaniented wich tcellis wocks. cabinets of verdiurc, with many 
vpiffl»tinM and pyraiaids of marble, and two fbw^uoa ot grtM bee«^. Ia the giowe «K 
Dianau was the feiuitaln of the goddess tuniitig Action into a stag^ heodei sAothier pyra- 
mid; otsaaxble £aUof coaceafed pipes to spirt on all who came, unawanss, within uteir 
Eeach. It was situated near £wel» in Siurey> and has loog wace been demolished. 

1 Lingard. ^ Lodge's Illustrations,. voU i. ^-^ . 

» Records of Siman5a..qiK>ted b> Lingwrd. ,i^ed by V^OOg IC 

i6o Elizabeth 

in her Majesty's favour, and through whose hands the chief 
preferments and patronage of her government flowed, was 
Lord Robert Dudley, at that period a married man. He was 
bom, in the same auspicious hour with the queen, with whom 
his destiny became inseparably connected from the time they 
were both prisoners in the Tower.^ From the first month of 
her accession to the throne, Elizabeth, so remarkable for her 
frugal distribution of rewards and honours, showered wealth 
and distinctions on him. She conferred the office of master 
of the horse on him, in the first instance, with the fee of loo 
marks per annum, and the lucrative employment of head com- 
missioner for compounding the fines of such as were desirous 
of declining the order of knighthood, and he was soon after 
invested with the Garter, and made constable of Windsor 
Castle and Forest, and keeper of the Great Park during life.^ 
His wife, Amy Robsart, a wealthy heiress, whom he had 
wedded with great pomp and publicity during the reign of 
Edward VI., was not allowed by him to appear among the 
noble matronage of Elizabeth's court lest she should mar the 
sunshine of his favour, by reminding his royal mistress of the 
existence of so inconvenient a personage. Elizabeth's imdis- 
guised partiality for the handsome Dudley, excited the jealousy 
of the other members of her council, and even the politic Cecil 
could not forbear hazarding a biting jest to Elizabeth on the 
subject, when he told her of the misalliance of her couian 
Frances, Duchess of Suffolk, with her equerry, Adrian Stokes. 
" What ! " exclaimed her Majesty, " has she married her horse- 
keeper?" "Yea, madam," repHed the premier, "and she says 
you would like to do the same with yours." * 

Cecil's innuendo was undoubtedly meant to warn the queen, 
that her intimacy with Dudley was Hkely to prove injurious to 
her reputation, and derogatory to the dignity of the Crown. 
Sir Thomas Chaloner, her Majesty's representative at the court 
of Spain, had, in a private postscript to one of his despatches, 
addressed the following intimation to the premier on this 
delicate subject: — 

'* I assure you, sir, these folks are broad-mouthed, where I spoke of one 

1 Camden, who attributes it to a mysterious conjunction of their planets. 

8 Sidney Papers. 

> In Mr. Wright's valuable collection of documents of the "Life and Times of Queen 
Eiixabeth," there is a pretty letter from this lady, written, during the absence of her lord, 
to one of his agents, touching the pasture of some of their flodcs, and the sale of their 
wool, for which she wishtt to obtam six shillings per stone, and evinces a housewifely 
care to make the most of everything. *' The Amy Robsart," observes the talented editor, 
" busy about the afiairs of her husband's household, is another character from the Amy 
Robsart of Sir Walter Scott." Her tragical death at Cumnor Hall occurred in the yeai 
1560, fifteen years before the *' princelie pleasures of Kenilworth." 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth i6i 

too much in favour, as they esteem ; I think ye guess, whom they named 
— if ye do not, I will, upon my next hotter, write further. To tell you what 
I conceive, as I count the slander most false, so a young princess cannot be 
too wary, what countenance or familiar demonstration, she maketh more to 
one than another. I judge no man's service in the realm worth the enter- 
tainment with such a tale of obloquy or occasion of speech to such men, as 
of evil will are ready to find faults.'^ 

Chaloner goes on to express the vexation he, as an attached 
servant of the queen, feels at the impediment such reports are 
likely to cause in her Majesty's marriage, to the detriment of her 
whole realm, ministering matter for lewd tongues to descant 
upon, and breeding contempt. All this, he states, is written in 
strict conj&dence to his friend Cecil, and entreats him to keep 
it to himself. He then alludes to an overture of marriage 
which had been made to the queen by the King of Spain, 
in behalf of his cousin, the Archduke Charles, the Emperor 
Ferdinand's second son, a prince of noble qualities and stain- 
less reputation. He was a Catholic, and Elizabeth on that 
account, probably, or mistrusting the quarter whence the 
proposal came, had returned an evasive and unsatisfactory 
answer. Chaloner evidently considered, that the indifference 
of the queen proceeded from her predilection in favour of the 
person, to whom he had just alluded, and appears anxious lest 
the honourable alliance should be lost.^ 

** Consider,'* says he, *'how ye deal now in the emperor's matter ; much 
dependeth on it. Here they hang in expectation, as men desirous it should 
go forward, but as yet they have small hope. In mine opinion (be it said 
to you only) the affinity is great and honourable ; the amity necessary to stop 
and cool many enterprises. Ye need not fear his greatness should over- 
rule you. He is not a Philip, but better for us than a Philip."* 

The suit of this accomplished prince was afterwards pre- 
ferred in due form to Elizabeth, by Count Elphinstone, the 
emperor's ambassador, and she protested openly, that of all 
the illustrious marriages that had been offered to her, there 
was not one greater, or that she affected more than that of 
the Archduke Charles, and expressed a desire to see him in 
England. It was generally expected, that the prince would 
come under an assumed character, to visit the court of England, 
and obtain a first sight of his royal lady by stealth,* but this 
chivalric project, well worthy of the poetic age, which gave 
birth to Spenser, Shakespeare, and Sir Philip Sidney, was 
never carried into effect. The differences as to their jarring 

1 Burleigh Papers. > Ibid. ; Haynes, aia. C^ r\r\n]r> 

» Burleigh's State Papers. * Lingard. Digitized by VjUU^IV^ 

i62 Elizabeth 

cieeds, as Elizabeth demanded conformity to the Protestant 
form of worship, appeared insuperable, and for a time put an 
end to the negotiations, though they were subsequently 
renewed, as will be related in due course. 

Meantime the suit of a royal candidate, of the reformed 
religion, for her hand, was renewed by the King of Sweden, in 
behalf of his heir, Prince Eric. The ambassador chosen to 
plead his cause was John, Duke of Finland, the second son of 
the Swedish monarch, a prince of singular talents and address, 
and possessed of great personal attractions. On the 27th of 
September, this distinguished envoy landed at Harwich; and, 
on the sth of October, he was met and welcomed at Colchester, 
in the name of the queen, by the Earl of Oxford and Lord 
Robert Dudley, by whom he was conducted to London. 
At the comer of Gracechurch Street, Leadenhall, he was 
received by the Marquis of Northampton, Lord Ambrose 
Dudley, and a fair company of ladies, as well as gentlemen, in 
rich array, with the escort of 100 yeomen on horseback, with 
trumpets soundmg. He proceeded over London Bridge to the 
Bishop of Winchester's palace,^ which was appointed for his 
abode, it being the custom, in the "good old times," to quarter 
any foreigner of distinguished rank, and his train, on some 
wealthy noble or prelate, for board and entertainment. 

Seven days after, the Ptince of Sweden came by water to the 
court, with his guard, and was honourably received by many 
noble personages at the hall door, where the guard stood, in 
their rich coats, in a line whkh extekided to the presence- 
chamber, where the queen received him with the honours due 
to a royal visitor, and welcomed him with great cordiality. 
Whenever he went in state to court he threw handfuls of money 
among the. populace, saying, " he gave sUver, but his brother 
would give gold.''^ 

"The Swede, and Charles the son of the emperor," observes 
Bishop Jewel, " are courting at a most marvellous rate- But 
the Swede is most in earnest, for he promises mountains of 
silver in case of suc9es& The. lady, however, is probably 
thinking of an alliance nearer home."^ 

In November, there were great jousts at the queen's palace, 
the Lord Robert aud Lord Hunsdon were the challengers, who 
wore scarfs of white and black, the defendants were Lord 
Ambrose Dudley, and others, wearing scarfs of red and yellow 
sarsenet On the last day <rf the merry year of 15591 ^ pl^y 

1 NicboU' Prioresses. > Htrfinshed. 

* Zurich Letters, published by the Parker Society. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 163 

was acted in the court before the queen, but we learn that the 
Ikosce usually allowed on such occasicms^ being abused in this 
instance, they acted something so distasteKil to her Majesty, that 
they wete commanded to brcak off, and were superseded by 
a amsk of dandi^.^ 

On the I St of January, Prince John of Sweden came, gorge- 
ously apparelled, to the court, to oSet the new year's greetings 
to her Majesty. His retinue wore velvet Jerkins and rich 
gcM chains ; it \^^as an equestrian procession, and his guards 
carried halberds in their hands. That day, her Majesty's silk- 
woman. Mistress Montague, brought her for her new year's 
gift a pair of kntt bkick sUk stockings. The queen, after wear- 
ing them a few days, was so much j^eased with them, that she 
sent for Mistress Montague, and ajiksed her, ** From whence she 
had them ? and if she could help her to any more ? " 

^I made them very carefully on purpose only for your 
Majesty," said she, *' and seeing these please you so well, I will 
pcesesdy set moie tn hand." 

"Do so,''repKed the queen, **for indeed, 1 like silk stock- 
ings well, because they are pleasant^ fine, and delicate, and 
hoiceforth I will wear no more cloth stockings.*^ And from 
that time to her death, the queen never more wore cloth hose, 
but only silk stockings.^ 

These knit silk stockings were imitations of some which had 
been psevioosly sent from Spain, perhaps manufactured by the 

It may be observed, that Elizabeth, on her accession to 
the throne, considering it no longer expedient to mortify her • 
inordinate love of dress, by conforming to the self-denying 
costume of the raiore rigid order of reformers, who then began 
to be known by the name of Puritarts, passed from one extreme 
to the other, and indulged in a greater excess of finery and 
elabwate decoration, than was ever paralleled by any other 
queen of England, regnant or consort. Horace Walpole, 
speaking of her portraits, observes, " that there is not one that 
can be called beautiful. The profusion of ornaments with 
which they are loaded, are marks of her continual fondness for 
dresSy while they entirely exclude all grace, and leave no more 

I Citscti^ JttfirnaL 

3 5tx>we, p. 867. The good annalist conkinncs to explain this point of coatune : " Fof 
you shall anderstand that King Henry VIII. did only wear cloth hose, or hose cut out of 
clUhxoAd taffety. or if, by greac chance, tkmc came a pair of silk stockings from Spam. 
King Edward VL had a pair of Spanish silk stockings sent him as a great present." 
Stowa betrays here knowledge of his own profession of the needfe, by which he gained 
bis living ; the intelligence is, however, at least as interesting to the world in general, as 
slaugbteci in battle. 



room for a painter's genius, than if he had been employed to 
copy an Indian idol, totally composed of hands and necklaces. 
A pale Roman nose, a head of hair loaded with crowns, and 
powdered with diamonds, a vast ruff, a vaster fardingale, and a 
bushel of pearls, are the features by which everybody knows at 
once the pictures of Elizabeth. It is observable that her 
Majesty thought enormity of dress a royal prerogative, for, in 
1579, an order was made in the Star Chamber, *that no person 
should use or wear excessive long cloaks, as of late be used, 
and before two years past hath not been used in this realm ; no 
persons to wear such great rufifs about their necks, to be left 
off such monstrous undecent attiring.' In her father's reign, 
who dictated everything from religion to fashions, he made an 
act prohibiting the use of cloth of gold, silver, or tinsel, satin, 
silk, or cloth mixed with gold, any sable fur, velvet, embroidery 
in gowns or outermost garments, except for persons of distinc- 
tion — dukes, marquises, earls, or gentlemen and knights that 
had 250/. per annum. This act was renewed 2nd of Elizabeth. 
No one who had less than 100/. per annum, was to wear satin 
or damask, or fur of conies ; none not worth 20/. per annum« 
or 200/. capital, to wear any fur, save lamb, nor cloth above 
I OS. the yard." 

The record of presents made by Elizabeth to the ladies of 
her court is scanty, especially at the early part of her reign, but 
in a curious MS. wardrobe book of that queen, in possession 
of Sir Thomas Phillipps, Bart., appears this item : — 

** Delivered the 30th of April, anno 4 regina Elizabeth, to the Lady 
Wodehouse, — one loose gown of black velvet, embroidered overthwart, and 
cut between the borders with a lozenge cut, lined with sarcenet and fustian, 
and edged with luzams, and one French kirtle of purple satin, raised, lined 
with purple taffeta belonging to the late Queen Mary. 

Before Elizabeth had given any decided answer touching the 
Swedish match, the aged King Gustavus died, and her suitor 
Eric succeeded to the throne of that realm, and having become 
jealous of his brother, whom he suspected, not without reason 
perhaps, of playing the wooer on his own accoimt, he recalled 
him, and sent an ambassador to renew the matrimonial negotia- 
tions in his name. The arrival of the new plenipotentiary, 
Nicholas Guildenstiern, caused great excitement among the 
Londoners, for it was reported, that he had brought two ships 
laden with treasure as presents for the queen.^ Eighteen large 
pied horses and several chests of bullion, it seems, were 

1 Strypc Nichols. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 165 

actually presented to her Majesty, in the name of her royal 
wooer, with an intimation, "that he would quickly follow in 
person, to lay his heart at her feet" This annoimcement 
caused a little prudish perplexity to Elizabeth and her council, 
about the manner in which the King of Sweden should be 
received on his arrival in the palace, "the queen's majesty 
being a maid," ^ As Eric was the handsomest man in Europe, 
if he had come in person, it is possible that with Elizabeth's 
admiration for beauty, the result might have been different, but 
she was not to be won by proxy courtship. As, however, it 
had pleased her to accept the king's presents, he was naturally 
regarded by the nation as her bridegroom elect. The desire 
of some of the speculative pictorial publishers of the day, to 
be the first to gratify the loyal public, with united resemblances 
of the illustrious couple, occasioned the following grave ad- 
monition to be addressed, by the Secretary of State, to the Lord 
Mayor : — 

"It may please your lordship, the queen's majesty understandeth, that 
certain bookbinders and stationers do utter certain papers, wherein be 
printed the face of her Majesty and die King of Sweden, and although her 
Highness is not miscontented, that either her own face or the said king^s 
should be printed ox portraited^ yet to be joined in the same paper with the 
said king, or with any other prince, that is known to have made any 
request for marriage to her Majesty, is not to be allowed. And therefore 
her Majesty's pleasure is, that your lordship should send for the wardens of 
the stationers, or for the wardens of any other men, that have such papers 
to sell, and to take order with them, that all such papers be taken and 
packed up together, in such sort, that none be permitted to be seen in any 
part For otherwise her Majesty might seem touched in honour by her 
own subjects, that would in such papers declare an allowance to have 
herself joined, as it were, in marriage with the said king, where indeed her 
Majesty hitherto cannot be induced (whereof we have cause to sorrow) to 
allow of marriage with any manner of person.'' ^ 

One of these contraband engravings, if in existence, would 
at present be readily purchased at its weight in gold. 

About the same period, that the united resemblances of 
Elizabeth and her comely northern suitor, were thus peremp- 
torily suppressed, her old preceptor, Roger Ascham, whom she 
had continued in the post of Latin secretary, and occasionally 
made her counsellor, on matters of greater importance than the 
niceties of the learned languages, informs his friend Sturmius 
that he had shewn her Majesty a passage in one of his letters 
relating to the Scotch affairs, and another on the interesting 
subject of her marriage— Sturmius, it seems, having under- 

. 1 Burleigh's State Papers. » Haynes' State Papers, 368. JqIc 

i66 Elizabeth 

taken, through the medium of the Latin secretary, to- advocate 
die suit of Eric, King of Sweden, to the regal spinster, " The 
queen read, remarked, and graciously acknowledged in both of 
iliem," writes Ascham, "your respectful observiuice of her. 
Your judgment in the affairs of Scotland, as they then stood, 
she highly approved, and she loves you for your soliduide 
respecting ns and our concerns. The part respecting her 
marriage she read over thrice, as I well remember, and with 
somewhat of a gentie smile, but still preserving ;& modest and 
bashful silence. Concerning thout point indeed, my dear 
Sturmius,'' pursues he, '' I have nothii^ certain to write to yon, 
nor does any one truly know what to judge. I told yOu rightly 
in one of my former letters, that in the whole ordinance of her 
life, she resembled not Phaedra but Hippolytt, for by naibufe, 
and not by the; counsels of others, she is thus averse and 
abstinent from marriage. When I kzK>w anything foe certain, 
I will write it to you as soon as possible ; in the meantime, I 
have no hopes to give you respecting the King of Sweden." 

After this confidential passage, the preceptor-secretary 
launches forth into more than his wonted encomiums, on die 
learning of his royal pupil, declaring " that there wece laot four 
men in England, either in Church or the State, who understood 
more Greek than her Majesty ; " and, as an instance of her 
proficiency in other toi^ues, he mentions. " that he was once 
present at court, when she gave answers at the same time 
to three ambassadors, — the Imperial, the French, and the 
Swedish, — in Italian, French, and Latin — fluently, gmcefully, 
and to the point." 

Elizabeth, who was perfectly aware of the imporrtant influence 
of men of learning united with genius on tihe worid at lai^, paid 
Sturmius the compliment of addressing to him a letter, express- 
ing her sense of the attachment he had manifested towards 
herself and her country, promising withal "that her acknow- 
ledgments shall not be confined to words alone.** 

While Elizabeth was yet amusing herself with the acldresses 
of the royal Swedes, — for there can be little doubt that Eric's 
jealousy of the brother, who finally deprived him of his cilown, 
was well founded, with regard to his attempts to supplant him 
in the good graces of the English queen — the King of Denmark 
sent his nephew, Adolphus Duke' of Holstein, . to try his 
fortune with the illustrious spinster. He was young, handsome, 
valiant and accomplished, and in love with the queen, but 
though one of the busy-bodies of the coiirt wrote to her 
ambassador ia Paris, " that it was whispered her Majesty was 

tized by Google 

Elizabeth 167 

very fond of him,* he was rejected like the rest of her prboeiy 
wooers ; she, however, treated him with great distinction, made 
him a Knight of the Garter, and pensioned him for life. " The 
Duke of Holstein has returned home," says Jewel, ''after a 
magnificent reception by us, with splendid presents from the 
queen, having been elected into the Order of the Garter, and 
invested with its golden and jewelled badge. The Swede is 
reported to be always coming, and even now to be on his 
voyage, and on the eve of landing ; but as far as I can judge 
he will not stir a foot." 

Elizabeth, it appears, thought otherwise, for it is recorded by 
that pleasant gossip, Allen, in a letter written from the court, 
that her Majesty was, in the month of September, in hourly 
expectation of the arrival of her royal suitor, and that certain 
works were in hand in anticipation of his arrival at Westminstec, 
at which the workmen laboured day and night, in order to com- 
plete the preparations for his reception. After ail, Eric never 
came, having reasons to believe that his visit would be fruitless ; 
and he finally cons^d himself for his faihire in obtaining the 
most splendid match in Europe, by marrying one of his own 

The death of the favourite's wife at this critical juncture, 
under peculiar suspicious circumstances, gave rise to dark and 
mysterious rumouts, that she had be&i put out of the way to 
enable him to accept the willing hand of a royal bride. Lever, 
one of the popular preachers of the day, e:diorted Cecil and 
KnoUys to investigate the matter, because " of the grievous^and 
dangerous suspicion and muttering of the death of her that was 
the wife of my Lord Robert Dudley." Some contradictory state- 
ments as to the manner in which the mischance (as it was called) 
happened to the unfortunate lady were offered by the spr^htiy 
widower and the persons in whose care, or rather we should say 
in whose custody, the deserted wife of. his youth was kept at 
Cumnor Hall, in Berkshire, and it was declared by the author- 
ities to whom the depositions were made, that her death was 
accidental. So little satisfactory was the explanatk)n, that even 
the cautious Cecil expressed his opinion " that Dudley was in- 
famed by the death of his wife." ^ Throckmorton, the English 
ambassador at Paris, was so thoroogldy mortified at the light in 

1 A beauty oTliuinMe ^egre^, called Kate ikk Kut-girl, witlh whom his Majesty /iefl in 
love, from seeing her occasionally selling her nuts in the square before his palace. ^ He 
found her Tirtue impregnable/ and made her his queen. She proved a model of conjugal 
tenderness and faith, especially in his reverse of fortune, when supplanted in his royal 
office by his brother John, by whom he was finally murdered. * . 

« Haynes' State Papers. 362. Digitized by LjOOgle 

1 68 Elizabeth 

which this affair was regarded on the continent, that he wrote to 
Cecil, " The bruits be so brim and so maliciously reported 
here, touching the marriage of the Lord Robert and the death 
of his wife, that I know not where to turn me nor what coun- 
tenance to bear." ^ In England, it was generally believed that 
the queen was under promise of marriage to Dudley, and 
though all murmured, no one presumed to remonstrate with 
her Majesty on the subject. Parry, the unprincipled confidant 
of the Lord Admiral Seymour's clandestine courtship of his 
royal mistress, and whom she had, on her accession to the 
throne, made a privy-councillor, and preferred, though a con- 
victed defaulter, to the honourable and lucrative office of 
comptroller of her household, openly flattered the favourite's 
pretensions, who now began to be distinguished in the court by 
the significant title of " my lord," without any reference to his 
name,^ while daily new gifts and immunities were lavished on 
him. Meantime the jealous rivalry of the Earl of Arundel led 
to open brawls in the court ; and as the quarrel was warmly 
taken up by the servants and followers of these nobles, her 
Majesty's name was bandied about among them in a manner 
degrading, not only to the honour of royalty, but to feminine 
delicacy. On one occasion Arthur Gimtor, a retainer of the 
Earl of Arundel, was brought before the coimcil, on the inform- 
ation of one of Dudley's servants, to answer for the evil wishes 
he had invoked on the favourite for standing in the way of his 
lord's preferment in the royal marriage, to which both aspired. 
Guntor made the following confession : — 

" Pleaseth your honours to understand that, about three weeks since, 
I chanced to be hunting with divers gentlemen, when I fell in talk with 
a gentleman named Mr. Geoi^e Cotton, who told me that the queen's 
highness being at supper, on a time, at my Lord Robert's house where 
it chanced her Highness to be benighted homeward, and as her Grace was 
going home by torch-light, she fell in talk with them that carried the torches, 
and said, ' that she would make their lord the best that ever was of his 
name.' Whereupon I said, ' that her Grace must make him then a duke,' 
and he said, ' that the report was, that her Highness should marry him,' 
and I answered, ' I prav God all be for the best, and I pray God all men 
may take it well, that there might rise no trouble thereof,' and so have I 
said to divers others since that time." ' 

It must be evident to every person of common-sense, 
that Dudley's man was playing upon the credulity of the 
choleric servant of Arundel, or, in vulgar phraseology, hoaxing 
him with this tale, since it was absolutely impossible for her 

1 HardwicVe's State Papers, voL i. p. zax. > Rapin. 

S Burleigh's Sut* Papers. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 169 

Majesty — who on such occasions was either in her state 
carriage, on horseback surrounded by her own officers of the 
household, or, which was most probably the case, carried in a 
sort of open sedan, on either side of which marched the prin- 
cipal nobles of her court, and her band of pensioners with 
their axes — ^to have held any such colloquy with Dudley's 
torch-bearers, even, if she had felt disposed to make such dis- 
closures of her royal intentions, in the public streets. In 
another examination, Guntor affirmed, " that Cotton said it was 
rumoured, that his lord (Dudley) should have the queen ; " to 
which Guntor replied, "that, if it pleased her Highness, he 
thought him as meet a man as any in England." Then 
Cotton asked him **if he had heaxd of any parliament 
towards ? " Guntor said, " No ; but of course every nobleman 
would give his opinion, and some disputes would naturally rise 
on the subject." Cotton asked, "Who were Dudley's friends 
in the matter?" Guntor replied, "the Lord Marquis of 
Northampton, Earl of Pembroke, Mr. Treasurer, and many 
more ; " adding, " I trust the White Horse (Arundel) will be in 
quiet, and so shall we be out of trouble ; it is well known that 
his blood, as yet, was never attaint." ^ 

This remark was in allusion to the ignominious deaths of the 
favourite's grandfather, Edmund Dudley the extortioner; his 
father, the Duke of Northumberland ; and his brother. Lord 
Guildford Dudley, — all three of whom had perished on a 
scaffold. It was reported that Leicester's great-grandfather 
was a carpenter, and his enemies were wont to say of him, 
"that he was the son of a duke, the brother of a king, the 
grandson of an esquire, and the great-grandson of a carpenter ; 
that the carpenter was the only honest man in the family, and 
the only one who died in his bed." 

A person who well knew the temper of Elizabeth, notwith- 
standing the undisguised predilection she evinced for the 
company of her master of the horse, predicted, " that the queen 
would surely never give her hand to so mean a peer as Robin 
Dudley — ^noble only in two descents, and in both of them 
stained with the block.*' The" event proved that this was a 
correct judgment. 

** * Touching Lord Robert/ continues Guntor, * I have said to Mr. Cotton 
that I thought him to bet the cause that my lord and master (Arundel) 
might not have the queen's highness, wherefore I would that he had been 
put to death with his father, or that some ruffian would have despatched 
him by the way he has gone, with dagge or gun. Further, I said, if it 

1 Burleigh Papers. ^ , 

Digitized by VOQOglC 

170 Elizabeth 

chanced ray Lord Robert to many the queen's highness^ then I doubted 
whether he would not remember some old matter passed to my lord and 
master's hindrance and displeasure/ 

••Guntor made very hin»ble subraisBtcm and suit to fcer Majesty for 
pardon^ stating; *that he had been very pi:operly punished for uttering 
soch lewd and uabefiUing words.' " ^ 

This matter was evidedtly brought before the council bj 
Dudley, for the purpose oC shewing how publicly his name was 
impHcated with that of the queen, in a matrimonial point of. 
view, and with the intent of ascertaining how his ccAleagues 
stood affected towards his preferment in that way, 

Elizabeth passed the matter over with apparent nonchalance^ 
and when Throckmorton, aimoyed past endurance at the 
sneers of his diplomatic brethren in Park, took the bold step 
of sending his secretary, Jones, to acquaint her Majesty, 
privately, with the injurious reports that were circulated touch- 
ing herself and Dudley, she received the communication without 
evincing any of that acute sensibility to female honour, which 
teaches most women to regard a stain as a wound. She some- 
times laughed, perhaps, at the absurdity of these on dits^ and 
occasionally covered her face with her hands ; and when the 
secretary, who had been charged with this delicate commission, 
brought his communication to a close, she informed him, " that 
he had come on an unnecessary errand, for she was already 
acquainted with all he had told her ; and that she was convinced 
of the innocence of Lord Robert Dudley of the death of his 
wife^ as he was in her own court at the time it happened, which 
had so fallen out that neither his honour nor his honesty were 
touched therein." * 

Notwithstanding the honest warning of ThrockmortOQ to his 
royal mistress, the favourite continued in close attendance on 
her person. It is related that one of his political. rivals, who is 
generally supposed to have been Sussex, g^ve him a blow at 
the council-board, in preseoce of the queen. Elizabeth, who 
was well fitted to rule the stormy elements over which she 
presided, told the pmgnacious statesman, that he had. forfeited 
his hand, in reference to the law which imposed that penalty 
on any one who presumed to violate the sanctity of the court 
by the commission of such an outrage. On which Dudley 
rejoined, "that he hop^ her Majesty would suspend that 
sentence till the traitor had lost his head,* and the matter went 
no further. It is shrewdly remarked. by Naunton, that this 

1 Burletgh's State Paptn. * Hardwick Papers, 165. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 171 

inflmeodid noble ever kept clear fmm qnarreU with the queen's 
kmsisen; Hemy Care^ Lord Himsdon,^ and Sir Thomas Sack- 
ville» fbr of them he \nA vont to say, ''that they were of the 
trtbd of Dan^ and wvr&««li mt tangereJ* 

Among the prepanUoons for th^B Easter festival, in 1560, 
Queen Elizabeth kept her Maunday after the old Catholic 
^hion» m her gceathail, in tiie coutt of Westminster, by 
washing the feet of twenty poor women, and then gave gowns 
to evevy woman^ and one of them had the royal robe in which 
her Ma)eaty ofiiciated on this occasion. The queen drank to 
every woman, in a new white cap, and then gave her the cup. 
The same afternoon^ in St James's Paark, she gave a public 
alms of two-pence each to upwards of two thousand poor men, 
womeni. and children, both whole and lame. The royal gift 
was ia silver coins, and the value was from sixpence to eight- 
pence q£ the present money. Nothing endeared the sovereign 
more to the people than the public exercise of these acts of 
personal chanty, which afforded them at once a holiday and a 
pageanf, making glad t^ heatts of the poor with a gift, to which 
inestimable value wonM be attached. Abject, indeed, would be 
the recipient o£ the royal boonty, who dad not preserve the fair 
new coin to wear as a precious amulet about the neck, and to 
transmit, as a lucky heirloom, to a favoured child, in memory 
of their gracsons queen. There were no sources of licensed 
temptation to destroy the health and virtues of the working^- 
dassea^ in the shape of gin-palaces, under the glorious domestic 
government of England's Elizabeth. 

The queen was caceful to redress all causes of disaffection 
among the operative classes, so that royalty should be found no 
burdem to those, mdiom she regarded as the bones and sinews 
of the realm. > ;That the extortions awd robberies which the 
royal purveyors had been in the halMt of committing in the 
name of ther sovereign, wer^ to a certain degree, still practised 
in the early part of Elizsdaeth's reign, is evidenced by the 
following huoiarous tale, which is recorded on the authority of 
an eye-witness. 

One of her purveyors having been guilty ol some abuses, in 
the county of Kent, on her Majesty's remove to Greenwich, a 
sturdy countryman, watching the time when she took her 
morning walk with the k^'ds and ladies of her household^ 
placed himself conveniently for catching the royal eye and ear, 
and when he saw her attention perfectly disengaged, began to 

1 Tfacgr w«cc both of dw BoW^n. UootL. Hunsdon was the son of the queen s aunt, 
Maiy Boleyn ; Sackville of her great aunt, the sister of Sir Thomas Bolcyii^ , 


172 Elizabeth 

cry, in a loud voice, " Which is the queen ? " * Whereupon, as 
her manner was, she turned herself towards him, but he con- 
tinuing his clamorous question, she herself answered, "I am 
your queen, what wouldst thou have with me?" "You," 
rejoined the farmer, archly gazing upon her with a look of 
incredulity, not unmixed with admiration — " you are one of the 
rarest women I ever saw, and can eat no more than my daughter 
Madge, who is thought the properest lass in our parish, though 
short of you ; but that Queen Elizabeth I look for, devours so 
many of my hens, ducks, and capons, that I am not able to 
live." The queen, who was exceedingly indulgent to all suits, 
offered through the medium of a compliment, took this homely 
admonition in good part, inquired the purveyor's name, and 
finding that he had acted with great dishonesty and injustice, 
caused condign punishment to be inflicted upon him ; indeed, 
our author adds that she ordered him to be hanged, his ofifence 
being in violation of a statute-law against such abuses.^ 

Great hospitality was exercised in the palace, which no 
stranger who had ostensible business there, from the noble to 
the peasant, ever visited, it is said, without being invited to 
either one table or the other, according to his degree. No 
wonder that Elizabeth was a popular sovereign, and her days 
were called " golden." 

In May, 1560, the new pope Pius IV., a prince of the house 
of Medici, made an attempt to win back England, through her 
queen, to the obedience of the Roman see, by sending Parpaglia, 
Abbot of St. Saviour, to the queen, with letters written in the 
most conciliatory style, and beginning, "dear daughter in 
Christ," inviting her " to return into the bosom of the Church," 
and professing his readiness to do all things needful for the 
health of her soul, and the firm establishment, of her royal 
dignity, and requesting her to give due attention to the matters 
which would be communicated by his dear son Vincent Par- 
paglia. What the papal concessions were, on which this spiritual 
treaty was to be based, can only be matter of conjecture, for 
Elizabeth declined receiving the nuncio, and the separation 
became final and complete.^ 

In the autumn of the same year, Elizabeth's great and glorious 
measure of restoring the English currency to sterling value was 
carried into effect. "A matter, indeed, weighty and great," 
says Camden, "which neither Edward VI. could, nor Mary 

1 Osborne's Traditional Memoirs of Elizabeth. 

s Historical Memoirs of the Reigns of Elizabeth and James. LondoDj 1658. 

> Camden's Annals. 

Digitized by VjOOg IC 

Elizabeth 173 

durst attempt, since Henry VIII. was the first king that ever 
caused copper to be mingled with silver, to the great disgrace 
of the kingdom, damage of his successors and people, and a 
notable token of his excessive expense, since his father had left 
him more wealth, than any other king ever left his successors, 
and l&ewise he had drawn abundance of money by the means 
of tribute and imposts, besides all the revenues, gifts, and goods, 
belonging to the monasteries." 

This mighty and beneficial change, was effected by the 
enlightened policy of Elizabeth, without causing the slightest 
inconvenience or distress to individuals. The old money was 
called in, and every person received the nominal value of the 
base coin, in new sterling money, and the government bore the 
loss, which was, of course, very heavy, but the people were 
satisfied, and their confidence in the good faith and honour of 
the Crown, richly repaid this great sovereign for the sacrifice. 
She strictly forbade melting or trafficking with the coin in any 
way — a precaution the more necessary, inasmuch as the silver 
was better and purer in England, during her reign, than in full 
two hundred years before, and than any that was used in any 
other nation of Europe in her own time.* The reformation of 
the currency extended to Ireland, and the joy of that distressed 
people was expressed in the following popular ballad, which has 
been preserved by Simon, in his " Essay on Irish Coins." 

" Let bonfires shine in every place. 
Sing, and ring the bells apace, 
And pray that long may live her Grace 
To be the good Queen of Ireland. 

" The gold and silver, which was so base 
That no man could endure it scarce, 
Is now new coined with her own face, 
And made to go current in Ireland." 

Well had it been for Ireland, and England also, if the 
subsequent policy of Elizabeth, towards that portion of her 
dominions, had been guided by the same maternal and 
equitable spirit 

The gold coins of Elizabeth are peculiarly beautiful, they 
were sovereigns, half-sovereigns, or rials, the latter word being 
a corruption from royals, nobles, double-nobles, angels, half- 
angels, pieces of an angel and a half and three angels, crowns, 
and half-crowns. One pound of gold was coined into twenty- 
four sovereigns, or thirty-six nominal pounds, for the value of 

1 Camden. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

174 Elizabeth 

^e soveisign was thirty sfaiUiqgs^ the value of 4;he royal,. fifteen 
shillings, and that of the angel, ten. On the soveneigtii appeared 
the majestic profile pcMtrait of Elizabeth, in armour and ruH^ 
her hair dishevelled and flowing over her breast and shoulders, 
and crowned with the imperial crown of England^ sisular ia 
form to that worn by all hei successors, including our piiesent 
fair and feminine Uege lady. It is impossible, however, for 
the lovers of the picturesque and graceful not to regret the 
want of taste, which induced the Tudor sovereigns to abandon 
the elegant garland-shaped diadem of the Saxon and Plantagenet 
monarchs of England, for the heavy double-arched regal -cafv 
which so completely conceals the contour of a fiaely shaj^ed 
head, and the beauty of the hair. The legend lound Elizab^'s 
sovereign, on the side charged with her bust, i3» " Eluabb^th 
D. G. Ang. Fra. et Hib. Regina." Reverse — the arms of 
England and France. She bore the latter at the very time* she 
signed the death doom of her cousin Mary Stuart, for quarter- 
ing the first, though entitled by her descent, from Henry VII^ 
to bear them, as the Duchess of Suffolk, Fiances Bxandon did, 
without offence. The wrms on the reverse of Elizabeth's 
sovereign are flanked by the initia4s E. R., and this inscription 
as defexider of the faith — *^ Scutum Fidei Protegbt Eam.'' 

The double-rose noble^ which is esteemed the finest of her 
coins, has on one side, the queen in her regal costume, with 
crown, sceptre, and ball, seated on her throne with a portcullis 
at her feet, signifying her descent from the Beauforts ; same 
legend as the sovereign. On the reverse, a large rose enclosing 
the royal arms, with the motto chosen by Eliwibeth when her 
accession was announced to her — " A Dno. Factu. Est. Istud. 
ET MiKAB. OccuL. Nris " — " The Lord hath done it, and it is 
marvellous in our eyes." 

Queen Elizabeth's silver money are crowns, half-crowns, 
shillings, sixpences, groats, three-pences, two-pences, pennies, 
half-pennies, and farthings. There was no copper money 
coined before the reign of King James. 

Notwithstanding all the difficulties with whidi she had to 
contend, on her accession to the throne, Elizabeth very early 
assumed the proud position of protectress of the Reformed 
Church, not only in England, but throughout the world. She 
supplied the Huguenot leaders in France privately with arms 
and money, and afterwards openly with a military fc^ce^ under 
the command of Lord Robert Dudley's eldest brother, the Earl 
of Warwick.^ She also extended her succour, secretly, to the 

1 CanMlea. 

Digitized by VjOOg IC 

. Elizabeth 175 

Flemish Protestftats, and excited them to resist the oppression 
of their Spanish rulers. The reformed party in Scotland were 
in her pay, and SBbservient to her will, although her dislike to 
Jo^n Knox was unconquerable, having been provoked by his 
abuse of the English lituTgy, in the first place, and in the 
second, by his work entitled, "First Blast of ^e Trumpet 
against the Monstrous Regiment (meaning government) of 
Women.** It is true that this fuhnination was publii^ied during 
her sistei:^ reign, and was more especially aimed against the 
Queen-regent of Scotland and her daughter, the youthful sove- 
reign of tliat realm, but Elizabeth consideied, that the honour of 
the whole sex was touched in his book, and that all female 
monarchs were insulted and aggrieved by it. It was in vain, 
that he endeavoured, 1:^ personal flattery to herself, to excuse 
his attack upon the folly and incapacity of womankind, in 
general. He assured her, " that she was an exception to the 
sweeping rule he had laid down, that her whole life had been a 
miracle, which proved, diat she had been chosen by God, that 
the office which was unlawful to other wcmien, was lawful to 
her, and that he was ready to obey her authority ; " but the 
queen was nauseated with the insincerity of adulation from 
such a quarter, aiKi notwithstanding this persuasions of Cecil 
and Throckmorton, reiused to permit him to set a foot in 
England on any pretence.^ 

On the 1 8th of January, 1561, the first genuine English 
tragedy, in §ve acts, composed on the ancient tragic model, 
with the interlude of assistant choruses, in lyric verse, was 
performed before Queen Elizabeth, whose classic tastes must 
have been much gratified by such a production. It was the 
joint composition of her poetic cousin, Sir Thomas Sadcville, 
(who shared the literary genius of the Boleyn family,) and 
Thomas Norton, and was called "Ferrex and Porrex, or 
Gorbaduc" Probably the quaint and impertinent representa- 
tion of the whole life and reign of the royal Blue-beard, Henry 
VIII., which, it is said, was among the popular dramatic 
pageants of the reign of Edward VI., would have, given an 
unsophisticated audience more genuine delight, than all the 
k^fty declamations of the imitator of the Gieek drama. Eliza- 
beth caused a stage to be erected at Windsor Castle for the^ 
regular performance of the drama, with a wardrobe for the 
actors, painted scenes, and an orche^sa, consisting of trumpeters, 
hiterers, harpers, singers, tnmstrels, viols, sagbuts, bagpipes,{ 

IStrype. Tytler. Ungard. digitized by GoOglC 



doineflads^ rebecks, and flutes, — zxA very queer music they 
must have made. 

Queen Elizabeth passed much of her time at Windsor Castle 
on the spacious terrace erected by her, for a summer prome- 
nade, in the north front of the castle. She generally walked 
for an hour before dinner, if not prevented by wind, to which 
she had a particular aversion. Rain, if it was not violent, was 
no impediment to her daily exercise, as she took pleasure in 
walking under an umbrella in rainy weather, upon this 
commanding and beautiful spot. 

In the neighbouring park she frequently hunted, and we have 
the following testimony, that her feminine feelings did not 
prevent her from taking life with her own hand, as this letter, 
written by Leicester at her command, will testify : — 

'*To the right honourable and my singular good lord my Lord of Canter- 
bury's grace, give these. 

•* MY LORD, 

*'The queen's majesty being abroad bunting yesterday in the forest, 
and having had very good hap, beside great sport, she bath thought good to 
remember your Grace with part of her prey, and so commanded me to send 
you a great fat stag, killed with her own hand; which, because the weather 
was wet, and the deer somewhat chafed and dangerous to be carried so far 
without some help, I caused him to htparboiUdf for the better preservation 
of hinif which, I doubt not, will cause him to come unto you as I would be 
glad he should. So having no other matter at this present to trouble your 
Grace withal, I will commit you to the Almighty, and with my most hearty 
commendations take my leave in haste. 

" Your Grace's assured, 
"At Windsor, this iiii of September.^ ** R. Dudley." 

While Elizabeth kept court at her natal palace of Greenwich, 
she, on St George's Day, celebrated the national festival with 
great pomp, as the sovereign of the Order of the Garter, com- 
bining, according to the custom of the good old times, a 
religious service with the picturesque ordinances of this chivalric 
institution. " All her Majesty's chapel came through the hall 
in copes, to the number of thirty, singing, * O God the Father, 
of heaven,' &c., the outward court to the gate being strewed 
with green rushes. After came Mr. Garter, and Mr. Norroy, 
and Master Dean of the chapel, in robes of crimson satin, with 
a red cross of St. George, and after eleven Knights of the 
Garter in their robes ; then came the queen, the sovereign of 
the Order, in her robes, and all the guard following, in their 
rich coats, to the chapel. After service, they returned through 

1 No other date, but it must have been before the year 1564, when he was created Earl 
of Leicester. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 177 

the hall to her Grace's great chamber. The queen and the 
lords then went to dinner, where she was most nobly served, 
and the lords, sitting on one side, were served on gold and 
silver. After dinner, were two new knights elected — ^viz., the 
Earl of Shrewsbury and Lord Hunsdon.*'^ 

On the loth of July, the queen came by water to the Tower, 
to visit her mints, where she coined certain pieces of gold 
with her own hand, and gave them away to those about her. 
Katharine Parr's brother, the Marquis of Northampton, and 
her own cousin, Lord Hunsdon, each received one of these 
memorable pieces. About five she went out at the iron gate, 
and over Tower Hill, in great state, on horseback, with 
trumpeters, and her gentlemen-pensioners, heralds, Serjeants 
at arms, gentlemen, and nobles preceding her. Lord Hunsdon 
bearing the sword of state before her Majesty, and the ladies 
riding after her. In this order, the maiden monarch and her 
train proceeded by the way of Aldgate, down Houndsditch and 
Hog Lane, 2 places little accustomed, now, to behold royal 
equestrian processions, with gorgeous dames and courtly 
gallants, sweeping in jewelled pomp through those narrow, 
dusky streets ; but Elizabeth, whose maternal progenitors had 
handled the mercer's yard and wielded the civic mace, was 
peculiarly the queen of the city of London, where she was 
always hailed with enthusiastic affection. As long as the 
Tower was a royal residence, our sovereigns did not entirely 
confine the sunshine of theu: presence to the western quarter 
of the metropolis, but gave the city, in turn, a share of the 
glories of regality. Elizabeth and her train, on the above 
occasion, proceeded, we are told, through the fields to the 
Charter House, the splendid residence of the Lord North, where 
she reposed herself till the 14th, when Burleigh has noted in 
his diary the following entry : — " The queen supped at my 
house in Strand (the Savoy), before it was finished, and she 
came by the fields from Christ Church." Here her council 
waited on her Grace, with many lords, knights, and ladies. 
Great cheer was made till midnight, when she rode back to the 
Charter House, where she lay that night. 

The next day, Elizabeth set forth on her summer progress 
into Essex and Suffolk. All the streets of the city, through 
which she was to pass, were freshly sanded and gravelled, and 
the houses hung with cloth of arras, rich carpets, and silk ; but 
Cheapside, then proverbially called the Golden Chepe, made a 

1 Hist. Order of the Garter, by SirH. Nicolas, roL i. p. x8g^ 

a Nichols' Plrogresses. Digitized by GOOglC 



display of znagmficence in honour of the passage of Ute 
sovereign, which we should vainly look lor in these days of 
flimsy luxury, being hung with doth of gold and silver, and 
velvets of all coIoihs.^ All the crafts of London were ranged 
in their liveries from St Michael the Quern as iar as Aldgate. 
The aldermen, in their scarlet robes, had a distinguished place 
in the royal procession, nearer to her Majest/s person than her 
nobles and officers of state, save my Lord Hunsdon, who bore 
the svoid of state before her, and was immediately preceded 
by the Lord Afciyor, who bore the sceptre. At Whitechapel, the 
Lord Mayor and aldermen took their leave of her Grace, and she 
proceeded on her way towards Essex, and is suf^osed to have 
lodged that night at Wanstead House, in the forest' On the 
I9& of July, EHzabeth reached Injgatestone, the seat of Sir 
William Petre, one of her secretaries and privy councillors. 
She bad had the wisdom, as well as the magnanimity, to over- 
look his former inimical proceedings in the time of her 
adversity, regarding them probably as political radier than 
personal offences. She remained at his house two dayn, and 
then passed on to Newhall, one of the seats of her maternal 
grandfather, Sir Thomas Boleyn, where Henry VIII. bad 
ofttimes visited, and wooed her fair, ill-fated mother> during the 
fervour of his passion. Over the portal, the words, ^»« 
Elizabethan and a complimentary Italian quatrain, still bear 
record of her visit 

She visited Colchester during this progress,* and arrived at 
Harwich, August znd, where she enjoyed the sea breezes for 
several days, and was so wdl pleased with the entertainment 
she received, that she inquired of the mayor and corporation 
if she could do anything for them. They returned humble 
thanks to her Majesty, but said, " they did not require anything 
at that time.^ When the queen departed, she looked back 
at Harwich, with a smile, and said, " A pretty town, and wants 

Her Majesty arrived at Ipswich, August 6th, the inhabitants 
of which, hke the other towns through which she passed, had 
been assessed for the expenses of hsx entertainment She 
found great fauh with the clergy for not wearing the surplice, 
and the general want of order observed in the celebration of 
divine service. The Bishop of Norwich, himself, came in for 

1 Nichols' Progresses. ' Ibid. 

> Queen EUaibeth relished the Colchester oysters so greatly, which she probthfytasted 
for the first time during her visit to the town, that they were afterwards sent for by hone* 
loads by the piurveyors of the royal Cable.'-Corporation Records of Colchester. 

« Taylor's History of HarwicL 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 179 

a share of die censme of the royid go^niess of the Chu«:b» 

for his TemissDcss, and for winking at sdiismatics. Above all» 
she expressed her disHke of the marriage of the clergy, and 
that in cathedrals and coUeges (there were so maay wives and 
children, mhidi she said, was " contrary to the intention of tsbe 
founders, and nmch tending to the interruption of the studies 
of those who were placed there." ^ She even proceeded to issue 
an order, on the 9th of Angnst, addressed to the Archbishop 
of Canterbury for ins province, and to the Archbishop of York 
for his, forbidding the resort of women to the lodgJQgs i^ 
. cathedrals jot colleges on any pretence. Her indig^tion at the 
marriage of ixer tashops carried her aJmost beyond Ihe bovinds 
of delicacy, mid wihen Archbishop Packer remonstrated, with 
her on what he called the '^ Popisdi teadencyy" o€ aprohibitioii, 
which was peculiarly offensive to ham afl a married znan« she 
told him, ** she Jocpa^Jtod of baying made^any married bishc^,'' 
and even spoke widr contempt of the institution of ftaatrimony 
altogi^her«' It is well known, that the £rst time the queen 
honoured the archiepiscopal palace with a visti*-<>n which 
occasion an enormous expense^ and immense trouble and 
£suigue, had been incnrred by the primate and his wife — instead 
of the gracious words of acknxswledgmeat^ which the latter 
naturally expected to receive at parting from the royal guest, 
her Majesty repaid her dutiful attention with the foUowiig^ 
insult: — ^^And you," said she, "madam I oaay not call you, 
mistress I am ashamed tx3 call you, and so I know not what to 
call you; but, howsoever, I thank you.*'* 

Elizabeth looked as sourly xm bishop's daughters as she did 
on their wwes ; and having heard that Pilkiogton, Btshop of 
Durham, had given his daughter in marriage a fortune of 
10,000/., equal to the portion bequeathed by her father, 
Henry VIII^ to her and to her sister, she scotched the see of 
Durham of a thousand a year, and devoted the money to her 
garrison at Bawkk.* 

During her Majesty^s sof oum at Ipswich; the court was thrown 
into the greatest consternation by the discovery that the Lady 
Katharine Gray, sister to the unfoituimte Lady Jane, was on 
the point of becoming a mother, having contracted a clandestine 
marriage with Edward Earl of Hertford, the eldest son of the 
late Protector Somerset The matter was the more serious, 
because the yoimg lady, was not only of the blood-royal, but, 
as the eldest surviving daughter of Fraooes Brandon, to whose 
posterity tiie regal succession stood entaikd by the will of 

1 Strype's Pterker, p. n)6. > Strype. I Ibid. « lUd. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

i8o Elizabeth 

Henry VIII., regarded by the party opposed to the hereditary 
claim of Mary Queen of Scots as the heiress presumptive to the 
throne. Lady Kisitharine held an office in the queen's chamber, 
which kept her in constant attendance on her Majesty's person, 
but having listened to the secret addresses of the man of her 
heart, love inspired her with ingenuity to elude the watchful- 
ness of the court. One day, excusing herself, under pretence 
of sickness, from attending her royal mistress to the chase, she 
employed the time, not like her accomplished sister, the un- 
fortunate Lady Jane Gray, in reading Plato, but in hastening 
with Lady Jane Seymour, one of the maids of honour, the 
sister of her lover, to his house, where Lady Jane Seymour her- 
self procured the priest, who joined their hands in marriage. 
Hertford left England the next day ; Lady Jane Seymour died 
in the following March, and thus pK>or Lady Katharine was left 
to meet the consequences of her stolen nuptials. The queen, 
forgetful of her own love passages, when princess, with the late 
lord admiral, uncle to this very Hertford, and the disgraceful 
disclosures which had been made in King Edward's privy 
council, scarce ten years ago, treated the unfortunate couple 
with the greatest severity. Her premier, Cecil, whose cold 
heart appears, at all times, inaccessible to the tender impulses of 
sympathy for beauty in distress, in a letter to the Earl of 
Sussex, sums up the leading circumstances, as far as they had 
then proceeded, in this piteous romance of royal history, in the 
following laconic terms : " The loth of this, at Ipswich, was a 
great mishap discovered." After naming the situation of the 
unfortunate Lady Katharine, in the coarsest language, he 
adds, '^ as she saith, by the Earl of Hertford, who is in France. 
She is committed to the Tower ; he is sent for. She saith that 
she was married to him secretly before Christmas last." 

The reader will remember, that the father of the husband of 
Lady Katharine Gray was the first great patron of this climbing 
statesman, and herself the sister of the illustrious victim whom 
he had acknowledged as his sovereign. " The queen's majesty," 
pursues he, "doth well, thanked be God, although not well 
quieted with the mishap of the Lady Katharine." It was in 
vain that the unfortunate sister of Lady Jane Gray, in her 
terror and distress, fled to the chamber of the brother of Lord 
Guildford Dudley, Lord Robert, and implored him to use his 
powerful intercession with their royal mistress in her behalf. 
The politic courtier cared not to remind the queen of his 
family connection with those, who had endeavoured to supplant 
her in the royal succession ; and Lady Katharine was hurried 

Elizabeth i8i 

to the Tower, where she brought forth a fair young son. Her 
husband, on his return, was also incarcerated in the Tower. 
They were in separate prison lodgings, but he found means to 
visit his wedded love, in her affliction. She became the mother 
of another child, for which offence he was fined in the Star 
Chamber 20,000/., the marriage having been declared null 
and void, as the sister of Hertford, Lady Jane, the only 
efficient witness, was no more. Elizabeth was obdurate in her 
resentment to her unfortunate cousin ; and, disregarding all her 
pathetic letters for pardon and pity, kept her in durance apart 
from her husband and children, till she was released by death, 
after seven years of doleful captivity.^ Her real crime was 
being the sister of Lady Jane Gray, which Queen Mary had 
overlooked, but Elizabeth could not ; yet Lady Katharine was 
a Protestant 

After Elizabeth had relentlessly despatched her hapless 
cousin to the Tower, she proceeded on her festive progress to 
Smallbridge House, in Suffolk, the seat of Mr. Waldegrave, 
a Catholic gentleman, who with his lady and some others, h&d 
been committed to the Tower for recusancy. He was at that 
very time a prisoner there, and there died, on the first of the 
following September. From thence she passed on to Helming- 
ham Hall, the fair abode of Sir Lionel Tollemache, then 
sheriff for Norfolk and Suffolk, and honoured him by standing 
godmother to his heir, and left the ebony lute, inlaid with ivory 
and gems, on which she was accustomed to play, as a present 
for the mother of the babe. This relic, which has the royal 
initials "E.R.," is carefully preserved by the family, and 
proudly exhibited among the treasures of Helmingham Hall. 
It was a customary thing for a king or queen of England to 
leave some trifling personal possession, as a memorial of the 
royal visit at every mansion where Majesty was entertained. 
Hence, so many embroidered gloves, fans, books of devotion, 
and other traditionary relics of this mighty queen are shewn in 
different old families, with whom she was a guest, during her 
numerous progresses. She returned through Hertfordshire this 
year, and revisited the abode of her childhood, Enfield House ; 
and on the 22nd of September came from Enfield to London. 
She was so numerously attended on her homeward route, that 
from Islington to London, all the hedges and ditches were 
levelled to clear the way for her ; and such were the gladness 
and affection manifested by the loyal concourse of people who 
came to meet and welcome her, " that," says the contemporary 

1 See Ellis's Letters of English Histoiy. Camden. Mackinto^ . 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

1 82 Elizabeth 

cfapDnicler, " k was night eie she came over Saint Giks's in the 

Before Elisabeth left town on her late progress, the widowed 
Que^ of Soots^ after the death of her consort, Francis 11. of 
France^ sent her French Minister,. D'Oisell, to ask her for a 
safe conduct to pass into Scotland,^ either by sea,, oiv if com- 
pelled by indisposition or danger, to land in ^glamd, and 
travel without let or hindrance to her own reahn« 

It had been considered the height of inhinnanit^ in that 
brutal monarchy Henry VIII., when he denied a iiks leqnestj 
which had been proposed to him in behalf of the bride of his 
n€^hew James Y.^ the beautifal Mary of Lorraine^ whom he 
had passionately desired for his own wife ; but that one lady 
should refuse so small an accommodation to anotheiv bad cer^ 
tainly not been anticipated. Elizabeth, however, acted like the 
tru& dlaughter of Henry VIIL on this occasion^ for though 
D'Oisell presented the Queen of Scotland's request in writing, 
she delivered her answer to hdm in the negative at a crowded 
court, with a loud voice and angry countenance, obserring^ 
** that the Queen of Scots should ask no favours till she had 
ratified the Treaty of Edinburgh." ^ 

When this discourtesy was reported to the yanthfiil sovereign 
of Scotland^ and dowager of Fiance, then an\f in hec nine* 
teenth year, she sent for the English ambassador, Throck- 
morton ; and having, in the first place, to mark hef own atten* 
tioQ to the Gonventionid foicms observed, even by hostile 
princes, in their personal relations towards each other, waved 
her hand as a s^nal to the company to withdraw out of hear^ 
ing, she addressed to hkn a truly qneenly coockment on die 
insult that had been offered to her, oa the pait of his royal 

"My Jbrd ambassador," said she, ^'asl knoiw not bow^ far 
I may be transported by passion^ I like not to have so many 
witnesses of mine infirmity, as td^ie queen your mistress had, 
when she talked, not long since, wibh Monsieur D'OiselL 
There is nothing that doth more grieve me than tiiat I did so 
forget myself, as to have asked of her a favour, which I could 
wefi. have done without. I came here, in defiance of the 
attempts made by her brother Edward to prevent me, and, by 
the grace of God, I will return without her leave. It is veil 
known that I have £riends and allies who have power to assist 
me» but I chose lather to be indebted to her friendship. If 

' Camden. Chalmers. D'Oisell's Report, Stote Paper Offico. 
* Thrackmortoo'^ Letter to Queea EUzabetk, apod Cabala. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 183 

she choose^ she macy have me for. a loTsng kinswofloaxi and use- 
ful neighbour; for I am not going to practise against her with 
her subjects, as she has done with mine, yet I know thnre be 
in }3er leaJiD those, that like not of . the pcesent state of things. 
The queen says, I am young, and kck experience : I confess 
I am younger than she is, yet I know how to carry myself 
bringly and justly with iny friends, and not to cast any word 
against her, whdch may be unworthy of a queen and a kins> 
woman ; and, by her permission, I am as much a queen as her- 
self, and can carry my courage as high, as she knows how to 
do* She hath heretcfoe assisted my subjects agatost me;^ and 
now that I am a widow, it may be tiiought stiange that stxt 
woold hinder me in mtumii^ to my own country/' Mary, 
tiien^ in a few words stated that die late king, ber husband, had 
objected to ratify the Treaty of Edinburgh ; that while he lived, 
she was botmd to act by h^ advice ; and now her uncles had 
referred her to her own council, and the statcis of Scotland, for 
advice in a matter in which they, as peers of France, had no 
voice ; and she was too young and inexperienced to decide of 
herself, even if it had been proper that she should do sa 

Throckmorton, in reply, adverted to the old offence of Mary 
and her late hted^aaad, having assiraied the tide and arms of 
En^and. ^ But," rejomed the young c^ieen, with great nawet^ 
'^ my late lord and fiidier King Henry, and the king my late 
lord and husband, would have it so. I was then under thdr 
commandment, as you know, and since their death I have 
n^her borne the arms, nor used the style of England.''^. 

The attempt of Elizabeth to interc^ and capture the 
youthful widow, on her voyage to Scotland, has been contested 
by some a^e writexs of the present day ; but it is certain that 
the traitors, L^hington and Murray, counselled the English 
cabinet to that step.^ An English squadron waa,al: this critical 
juncture, sent into the North Sea, under pretext of protecting 
the fishars from pirates ; and Cecil, in his letter to Sussex, after 
stating the fact, significantly observes, *'/ fkink they wll be 
sorry to see her passJ* The royal voyager passed the English 
ships in safety, under the cover of the thick fog; but they 
captured one vessel, in which was the young Ead of Eglinton, 
and carried him intp an English port. On finding their 
mistake, they relinquished the prize; and apologized for the 
blunder they had committed.^ Safe conduct having been 
peremptorily denied to Mary, by Elizabeth, it was impossible 

1 Throcknorton't Letter ta BUaBfaeth, in CafaftUu * Oanden. Tytlea 

s Tytler'i Scotland. ^ ^ 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 



for her to place any other construction on the seizure of one 
of her convoy, than the very natural one she did. Elizabeth, 
however, without waiting to be accused, proceeded to justify 
herself from so unkind an imputation, in a formal letter to her 
royal kinswoman, in which she says, '^ It seemeth that report 
hath been made to you, that we had sent out our admiral with 
our fleet to impede your passage. Your servants know how 
false this is. We have only, at the desire of the King of Spain, 
sent two or three small barks to sea, in pursuit of certain Scotch 
pirates." ^ 

The young Queen of Scotland accepted the explanation with 
great courtesy, and though perfectly aware of the intrigues that 
had been, and continued to be, practised against her in her own 
court by Elizabeth, she pursued an amicable and conciliatory 
policy towards her, entered into a friendly correspondence, and 
expressed the greatest desire for a personal interview. Mary's 
youngest uncle, the Grand Prior of France, who had accom- 
panied her to Scotland — a bold military ecclesiastic of the class 
of Walter Scott's Brian de Bois Guilbert, asked and obtained 
leave to visit the court of England, on his return to France.* 
He was a victorious admiral, and was commander-in-chief of 
the French navy, and, being the handsomest and the most 
audacious of his handsome and warlike race, probably felt no 
alarm at the possibility of being detained by the maiden queen. 
He was, in fact, the sort of paladin likely to captivate Elizabeth, 
who became animated with a livelier spirit of coquetry than 
usual, at the sight of him, and soon treated him with great 
familiarity. "I have often heard the Queen of England 
address him thus," says Brantome : " Ah, mon Prieur, I love 
you much ;* but I hate that brother Guise of yours, who tore 
from me my town of Calais." He danced more than once with 
her, for she danced much — all sorts of dances. 

" The testimony of an eye-witness," says a modem French 
biographer, " can never be useless or devoid of interest, when, 
like the pigeon of La Fontaine, he can truly say — 

* J'etais la, telle chose m'advint.* " 

Such was the testimony of the chivalrous biographer. Bran- 
tome, who with more than a hundred other gentlemen of rank, 
in attendance on the Grand Prior and Constable of France, were 

1 Robertson's Appendix. 

S F^bably early m September, 1561, as he had landed his niece, Mary Queen of Scots, 
in the middle of August, at Leith. 

s " Je voos aime fort," are the words Brantome uses. Les Hommes lUustris, and 
part, p. 399- 

Digitized by VjOOglC 

Elizabeth 185 

guests at the courts of England and France, and saw and spoke 
to both the island queens, when in the height of their beauty 
and prosperity. Next to female dress, a Frenchman is the 
most sedulous critic on female beauty ; and, surely, Brantome 
bears witness that, at twenty-seven, Elizabeth possessed a con- 
siderable share of personal charms. ^' This queen gave us all 
one evening," says he, "a supper, in a grand room hung round 
with tapestry, representing the parable of the ten virgins of the 
Evangelists. When the banquet was done, there came in a 
ballet of her maids of honour, whom she had dressed and 
ordained to represent the same virgins.^ Some of them had 
their lamps burning, and full of oil ; and some of them carried 
lamps which were empty ; but all their lamps were silver, most 
exquisitely chased and wrought ; and the ladies were very 
pretty, well behaved, and very well dressed. They came in the 
course of the ballet, and prayed us French to dance with them, 
and even prevailed on the queen to dance, which she did with 
much grace, and right royal majesty ; for she possessed then no 
little beauty and elegance." 

She told the Constable of France, "that of all the monarchs 
of the earth, she had had the greatest wish to behold his late 
master. King Henry II., on account of his warlike renown. 
He had sent me word," pursued she, " that we should meet 
very soon, and I had commanded my galleys to be made ready 
to pass to France, for the express purpose of seeing him." The 
constable replied, "Madame, I am certain you would have 
been well pleased with him, if you had seen him, for his temper 
and tastes would have suited yours, and he would have been 
charmed with your pleasant manners, and lively humour ; he 
would have given you an honourable welcome, and very good 

"There are at present alive, besides the constable," con- 
tinues Brantome, " M. de Guiche, M. de Castelnau, Languedoc, 
and M. de Beloiz, besides myself, who heard Queen Elizabeth 
speak thus ; and we all right well remember her as she was 

It has been customary for the learned chroniclers of 
Elizabeth's life and reign, from Camden downwards, to diverge 
at this period of her annals into the affairs of Scotland, and for 
the succeeding seven years to follow the fortunes of the fair 

1 Brantome, Les Hommes Illustr^, second partie, p. 6ob He mentions the tapestry of 
the ten virgins in another of hb historical recollections. It is probable that this ffite was 
at the celelnration of her birthday, September 7th — that the grand chamber was at 
Greenwich Palace, the room Queen Ehzabeth was bom in, which was hung with such 

Digitized by VjOOg IC 

i86 Elizabeth 

ill-fated Maiy Stuart, rather than those of our ixiight)^ Tudor 
queen, who is certainly a character of sufficient importance to 
occupy at all times the foreground of her own history. 

It is, however, requisite to point out the first germ of the 
personal ill-will so long nourished by Elizabeth against Mary. 
This seems to have arisen from the evil report brought by Mrs. 
Sands, Elizabeth's former maid of honour, when she returned 
from France, at the accession of her royal mistress. The exile 
of this lady has already been mentioned. As she was forced 
from Elizabeth's sernce on account of her zeal for the Protestant 
religion, it was not very probable that she would be admitted to 
the confidence of Mary Stuart, who was then Queen Consort 
oi France. Yet Mrs. Sands affirmed that Queen Elizabeth was 
never mentioned by Mary without scorn and contempt.' Such 
was the banning of that hatred which never diminished while 
the troubled existence of Mary Stuart continued. 

Elizabeth was too deeply skilled in the regnal science not 
to be aware that a country is never so sure of enjoying the 
blessings of peace as when prepared for war, and there- 
fore, her principal care was bestowed lo providing her 
realm with the means of defence. Gunpowder was first 
manufactured by her orders and encouragement in England ; 
which all her predecessors had contented themselves witli 
purchasing abroad. She sent for engineers, and furnished 
regular arsenals in all fortified towns £dong the coast and the 
Scottish borders, increased the garrison of Berwick, and caused 
a fort to be built on the banks of the Medway^ near Upnor, 
where the ships should ride in shelter, and increased the wages 
of the manners and soldiers, to encourage them to serve her 
well.^ She not only caused ^ps of war to be built for the 
increase of her navy, but she encouraged the wealthy in- 
habitants of sea-ports to emulate her example; so that, 
instead of hiring, as her father and others of ha: predecessors 
had done, ships from the Hans towns and Italian republics, she 
was, in the fourth year of her reign, able to put tp sea a :fleet 
with twenty thousand men at arms. Strangers named her /^ 
^ueen of the ssa^ and the north star — her own subjects proudly 
styled her the restorer of naval glory.* 

1 State Paper in Cecil's bandwriting, Sadler Papers, vol. L 
^ Canvden. » Ibid. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 


EHcabeth's peiBecuilons of Nonconformists— Her visit to St. Paul's— DX^Ieasine with fhe 
dean— New year's gift — ^Predictions of her death — Parliament petitions her to marry 
m declare ker successor — Her tcritabiUtv— 'She preheats the Qiteen of Scots' marriage 
—Her letter to Warwick— Her Cambridge progress— Oflfers Robert Dudley's hand to 
Ae Qoeen of Scots — Creates him Earl of Leicester — Levity of her behavtotir — Mar- 
riage offer of Chalks IX. — Diteourses of Leicester §^ French ambaissadora— Eliabeth 
imprisons Lady Mary Gray — TaTces offence with Leicester— Her favour to Cecilia of 
Sweden — The queen gives Leicester hope»— Her irresolutioB — Her manlier of receiv* 
ing the sacrament- Cruelty to Health— Her deceitful treatment of the Scotch rebels- 
Renewal of matrimoniaf negotiations with the Archduke Charles — Hopes and -fears 
-of Leicester — Elizabeth's vexation «t fthe birth of Maury Stuart's son— Visit to the 
University of Oxford— Tries to cut short Dr. Westphaling's oration— His pertinacity 
— H«r whimsioal reproof— Dispute with parliaraent — Her encouragement ofalchemistt 
«ii4 ooBJiirors— Adventuces with Dr. Dee — Her patronage of him^Her wardrobe- 
Remonstrates with Mary btuart— Her letter to Catherine de Medicis — Description of 
the Archduke Charles-nArrival of Mary Queen of Scots is £ngland-*Crooked poUey 
of Elizabeth — Confierences at York — Nxurfolk's suspected correspondence with Marjr— 
Elizabeth's reply to Lady Lenox. 

Ths evidences of history prove that religious persecutioa 
generates faction, and lends the most formidable weapofis to 
the disaifected by dignifying txeason with the name of piety. 
Thus was it in the Pi^rimage of Grace, in the reign of Henry 
VIII. ; with Kett's rebellion, in that of Edward VI. ; aad the 
Wyat insurrection, ia that of Mary. Whether under the rival 
names of Catholic or Protestant, the principle was the same, 
and the crojsm of mai^yrdom was claimed, by the sufferer for 
conscience' sake, of either party. 

The experience of the religious strug^es, in the last three 
reigns, had failed to teach Elizabeth the futility of monarchs 
attempting to make their opinions, on theological matters, >a 
nde for the consciences of their subjects. Her first act of 
intolerance was levelled against the Anabaptists, by the publicar 
tion of an edict, in which they and other heretics, whether 
foreign or native, were enjoined to depart the realm within 
twenty <lay8, on pain of imprisonment and forfeiture of goods.^ 
Subsequeatly*: in a fruitless attempt to establish timformity of 
worship throu^aout the realm, she treated, her dtssioiting sub- 
jects, of all dasseS) with great severity, as well as those who 
adhered to the tenets of the Church oi Rome. The attempt 
to foroe persons of t^)posite opinions to a reluctant conformity 
with the newly-established ritual rendered it distasteful to many, 
who would probably, if left to the exercise of liieir own discre- 
tiooi have adopted it, in time, as the happy medium between 

1 Ounden. Digitized by VjOOg iC 

1 88 Elizabeth 

the two extremes of Rome and Geneva. In Ireland, coercive 
measures were followed by disaffection and revolt, and opened 
the door to plots and perpetual enterprises against the queen's 
person and government both from foreign powers, and those 
within her own realm, who were desirous of being governed 
by a sovereign of their own creed. 

On the first day of 1562, the queen went in state to St. 
Paul's Cathedral. The dean, having notice of her intention, 
had been at some pains and great expense in ornamenting 
a prayer-book with beautiful prints, illustrative of the history 
of the apostles and martyrs, which were placed at the epistles 
and gospels appointed to be read by^ the Church of England, 
on tibeir commemorations. The book, being intended as a 
new year's gift for her Majesty, was richly bound, and laid on 
the cushion for her use.^ A proclamation had, indeed, lately 
been set forth, to please the Puritan party, against images, 
pictures, and Romish relics, but as Elizabeth continued to 
retain a large silver crucifix over the altar of the chapel royal, 
with candlesticks and other ornaments, the use or disuse of 
which might be regarded rather as a matter of taste than 
religion, the dean supposed, that her Majesty did not object 
to works of art on scriptural subjects, as embellishments for 
her books of devotion. Elizabeth, however, thought it ex- 
pedient to get up a little scene on this occasion, in order to 
manifest her zeal against Popery before a multitude. When 
she came to her place, she opened the book, but, seeing the 
pictures, frowned, blushed, and shut it (of which several took 
notice), and calling to the verger, bade him, " bring her the 
book she was accustomed to use." After the service was 
concluded she went straight into the vestry, where she asked 
the dean, ** how that book came to be placed on her cushion ? " 
He replied, 'Uhat he intended it as a new year's gift to her 
Majesty." " You never could present me with a worse," rejoined 
the queen. "Why so?" asked the dean. Her Majesty, after 
a vehement protestation of her aversion to idolatry, reminded 
him of her recent proclamation against superstitious pictures 
and images, and asked " if it had been read in his deanery." 
The dean replied "that it had, but he meant no harm in 
causing the prints to be bound up in the service-book." She 
told him, " that he must be very ignorant indeed to do so, after 
her prohibition." The poor dean humbly suggested, " that 
if so her Majesty might the better pardon him." The queen 
prayed, " that God would grant him a better spirit and more 

1 Fox. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 189 

wisdom for the future ; " to which royal petition, in his behalf, 
the dean meekly cried, **Amen." Then the queen asked, 
" how he came by the pictures, and by whom engraved ? " He 
said,^ " he bought them of a German ; " and her Majesty ob- 
served, " it is well it was from a stranger ; had it been any of 
our subjects we should have questioned the matter." ^ The 
menace, implied in this speech, against native artists, who 
should venture to engrave plates from scriptural subjects, 
naturally deterred them from copying the immortal works of 
the great Flemish, Italian, and Spanish masters, which were 
chiefly confined to themes from sacred history or saintly lore, 
and may well explain the otherwise unaccountable fact, that 
the pictorial arts in England retrograded, instead of improved, 
from the accession of Elizabeth till the reign of Charles I. 

About this time, Margaret Countess of Lenox, the queen's 
nearest relation of the royal Tudor blood, and who stood next 
to the Queen of Scots in the hereditary order of the r^al 
succession, was arrested and thrown into prison. Her osten- 
sible offence was, having corresponded secretly with her royal 
niece, the Queen of Scots ; but, having been the favourite 
friend of the late queen, who was at one time reported to have 
intended to appoint her as her successor, to the prejudice of 
Elizabeth, that princess had cherished great ill-will against her, 
and she now caused her to be arraigned on the formidable 
charges of treason and witchcraft. The countess was, with 
four others, found guilty of having consulted with pretended 
wizards and conjurors, to learn how long the queen had to 
live.^ The luckless lady, being perfectly aware that the royal 
animosity proceeded from a deeper root, addressed the follow- 
ing curious letter in her own justification to Mr. Secretary 


** I have received your answer, by my man Fowler, upon the queen's 
words to you, whereby the queen hath been informed, and doth credit the same, 
that I, in the time of her Highness's trouble in Queen Mary's reign, should 
be rather a means to augment the same than diminish it, in putting it then 
in Queen Mary's head, that it was a quietness for the times to have her shut 
up. Master Secretary none on live (alive) is able to justify this &dse and 
untrue report, made of me, among others the like, as therein I will be sworn 
if I were put to it, that never, in all my life, I had, or meant to have said 
such worcfe touching the queen's majesty, nor I, for my part, bare no suck 
stroke to give any advice in any such weighty matter. 

"But what should I say? even as my lord and I, have had extremity 
shewed upon the informations, most untruly 'given unto the queen's majesty 

190 Elizabeth 

of u* M laite 1 I, for no other, bat the continuance thereof, as long a& her 
Highness doth hear and credit the first tale, without proof to be tried, and, 
as It appeareth, discredlteth my answers any way made to the contrary, how 
true soeyer they be. But if my lord and I might find the queen's majesty 
90 good and gracious to us, as to hear our accusers and us, face to face, I 
would then bs out of doubt to find shortly some part of her Highnesses 
favour again, which I beseech you to be a means for, and to participate the 
contents of this my letter to her Majesty^ in which doing ye give me occasion 
to be ready to requite the same as my power shall extend. 

**" And so, with my hearty commendations, I bid ^ou likewise farewell. 
From Shiafhys^ the second of October, yoiu assured Mend to my power, 

*' Maegar£T Lenox and Angus." 

Margaret had same cause of alarm when she penned this 
earnest letter, for her life lay at the mercy of the queeHi smd 
the accusation of sorcery against royal ladies had hitherto 
generally emanated, either from the hatred or rapacity of the 

In the autumn of 1562, the queen was attacked with a long 
and dangerous illness, and an astrologer named Prestal, who 
had cast her nativity, predicted that she would die in the ensu* 
ing March. This prophecy, becoming very generally whispered 
abroad, inspired two roysdly-descended brothers of the name 
of Pole» the representatives of the line, of Clarence^ with the 
wild project of raising a body of troops^ and landiz^ them 
in Wales, to proclaim Mary Stuart queen^ in the event of her 
Majesty's death, in the hope thdX the beautiful heiress of the 
crown would reward one of them with her hand and the oth^ 
with the Dukedom of Clarence. This romaQtic plot transpired, 
and the brothers with their confederates were arraigned for high 
. treason. They. protested their iimocence of conspiring agaiast 
the queen, but confessed to having placed implicit reliance on. 
the prediction of Prestal, and that their plot only involved the 
matter of the succession.^ It appears probable that this political 
soothsaying was connected with the misdejoaeanour of Lady 
Lenox. Cecil laboured hard to construe the visioftary scheme 
of the deluded young men into a confederacy of the Gtiises 
and Mary Queen of Scots, but the notion was too absurd. 
They were condemned to. die, but Elizabeth, having no reason 
to suppose they had practised against her life, revolted at that 
time from the thought of shedding kindred blood on the 
scaffold, on a pretence so frivolous. She graciously eactended 
her pardon to Arthur Pole and his brother, and allowed theca 
to pass beyond sea.* 

1 StrypjB. 

> Burleigh and Uason'i Letters In Wright's *' Eliiahetk and her Times^" 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 191 

On the last of December this yeta, Mktress Smyt^eson^ her 
Majesty's kunderer, was presented by &e royal command with 
a kirtle of msset satin, edged with velvet and lined with russet 
taffeta.^ The materials of this rich but simpie dress prove that 
the office of laundress to the sovereign was held by a gentle- 
woman^ whose duty it was to superintend die labours of the 
operative naiads of the royal household. 

The queen in her royal lobes, with her bishops and peers, 
rode in great state, from her palace, January X2th, 156$, to 
open the parliament at Westminster. She proceeded first to 
the Abbey, and alighting at our Lady of Gorace's Chapel, where 
she and her noble and stately retinue entered at the north 
door, and heard a sermon preached by Noel, the Dean of St. 
PauFs ; and then a Fsabn being cding, she proceeded through 
the sooth door to the parliameot chamber, then evidently hdd 
in the Chapter House. 

The first step taken by this parliament, after the choice of a 
Speaker, was to petition the queen to marry.; this, indeed, ap- 
peared the only means of avertii^ the long-and bloody succes- 
sive wais, with whidi, according to human probability, the rival 
dflim& of the female descendants of Henry VU. threatened the 
nation, in the event of Elizabeth dying without lawful issue of 
her own. The elements of deadly debate, which Henry VHI, 
had left as his last legacy to England, by his axbitrary innova- 
tions in the regular order of succession, liad been augmented 
by Elizabeth's refusal to acknowledge the rights of the Queen 
of Scots, as die presumptive inheritor of the throne. The cruel 
policy which had led her to nullify the marriage and st^matize 
the offspring of the hapless rqaresentative of the Suffolk lin^ 
had apparently provided further perplexities and occasions of 
strife. With this stormy perspective, the people naturally 
r^arded the Hfe of the reigning sovereign as their best security 
against the renewal of struggles, no less direful than the Wars 
of the Ro^s. In thb idea Elizabeth wished them to remain, 
and it was no piart of her intention to lessen the difficulties in 
which the perilous question of heirship to the crown was 

"Oh, how wretched are we," writes Bii^op Jewd, ta his 
friend at Zurich, "who cannot tell under what sovereign we 

1 MS. Wardrobe Book of Queen Elistabetii, in die possession o Sir Thcmns PhillippB, 
Bait. From the same MS. we find, that on the x^tli of January, anno 5 R. Ellz., tea 
yards of black satin were delivered from the queen s great wardrobe to make Dr. Caesar 
a gown ; and on the X4th of February, (anno 6,) eight yards of black satin, and the same 
of black TdTet, were delivered to the Lady Carew, out of tke great waidrobe) to make 

192 Elizabeth 

are to live ! " Elizabeth briefly replied to the remonstrance of 
her parliament on this subject, and that of her marriage — 
" that she had not forgotten the suit of the house, nor ever 
could forget it, but it was a matter in which she would be 
advised." 1 Elizabeth was just then, too busily occupied in 
traversing every proposal of marriage that was made to the 
Queen of Scots, to have leisure to think much of her own. 

Since the widowhood of Mary Stuart, all Elizabeth's rejected 
suitors had transferred their addresses to the younger and 
fairer queen of the sister realm, and nothing but the political 
expediency of maintaining the guise of friendship she had 
assumed towards Mary prevented her from manifesting the 
jealousy and ill-will, excited in her haughty spirit by every fresh 
circumstance of the kind. Mary very obligingly communicated 
all her offers to her good sister of England, having promised 
to be guided by her advice on this important subject, and all 
were equally objectionable in Elizabeth's opinion. Mary, in 
the morning freshness of youth, beauty, and poetic genius, 
cared for none of these things ; her heart was long faithful to 
the memory of her buried lord, and she allowed Elizabeth to 
dictate refusals to her illustrious wooers with perfect uncon- 
cern, in the hope that in return for this singulacr condescension 
her good sister would be won upon to acknowledge her right 
to succeed to the crown of England, in the event of that queen 
dying without lawful issue.^ 

Elizabeth was inflexible in her refusal to concede this point. 
She replied, " that the right of succession to her throne should 
never be made a subject of discussion ; it would cause disputes 
as to the validity of this or that marriage," in allusion to the 
old dispute of Henry VIII.'s marriage with her mother, which 
was, in truth, the source of Elizabeth's jealousy of all her royal 
kindred. Mary consented to acknowledge, that the right to 
the English crown was vested in Elizabeth and her posterity, if, 
in return, Elizabeth would declare her claims to the succession 
as presumptive heiress. Elizabeth in reply said, " that she 
could not do so without conceiving a dislike to Mary," and 
asked, " How it were possible for her to love any one whose 
interest it was to see her dead ? " She enlarged withal on the 
inconstancy of human affections and the proneness of men in 
general to worship the rising sun. " It was so in her sister's 
reign," she said, " and would be so again if she were ever to 
declare her successor." ® It was then proposed that the two 

1 Strype. > Camden. Haynes' State Papers. Tytler. Lingard. 

» Spotiswood. 

Digitized by VjOOglC 

Elizabeth 193 

queens should meet, and settle their differences in an amicable 
manner. Mary, with the confiding frankness that marked her 
character, agreed to come to York for this purpose, and a pass- 
port was even signed for her and her retinue, of a thousand 
horse; and when Elizabeth, for some reason, postponed the 
meeting to an indefinite time, the young sovereign of Scotland,, 
in her romantic infatuation wept with passionate -regret at her 

Elizabeth had at this time much to harass and disquiet her. 
The expedition which she had been persuaded to send out to 
the shores of Normandy, had been anything but successful ; 
much treasure and blood had been uselessly expended, and 
the city of Rouen, after it had been defended with fruitless 
valour, was taken by the royalist forces, and two hundred brave 
English auxiliaries put to the sword. On Lord Robert Dudley 
the unwelcome task devolved, of imparting the news of this 
misfortune to her Majesty. He had the presumption to con- 
ceal the fact that the city had actually fallen, but represented it 
to be in great distress, and artfully persuaded his royal mistress, 
that if the worst happened, her parsimony would have been 
the cause.^ Elizabeth was in an agony at the possibility of 
such a calamity, and despatched reinforcements and supplies to 
Warwick, with a letter of encouragement from her council, to 
which she added the following affectionate postscript in her 
own hand : — 


*' If your honour and my desire could accord with the loss of the 
needfullest finger I keep, God so help me in my utmost need, as I would 
gladly lose that one joint for your safe abode with me ; but since I cannot, 
that I would, I will do, that I may and will rather drink in an ashen cup, 
than you and yours should not be succoured, both by sea and lan4f and 
that with all speed possible ; and let this my scribbling hand witness it to 
them all. Yours as my own, 

"E. R.''« 

There is an honest, generous warmth, in this brief note, 
which does Elizabeth more honour than all her laboured, 
metaphorical, epistolary compositions. She felt what she 
wrote, in this instance, and the feeling, that she would rather 
drink out of an ashen cup, than her suffering soldiers, on 
foreign service, should want succour, is worthy of being in- 
scribed on her monument. The supines could not prevent 
the secret negotiation between the royalists and the Huguenots, 
by which the English allies were sacrificed. The plague break- 

1 Foarbes. * Archaeologia, vol. soii. pn aox. 

Digitized by VjftOglC 

194 ElizsdDetJh 

ing )Oiit in the garnsoos nf Newhaven and Havpe (le Otaoe, 
rcausedsuchiravs^esjithait the Esaii of Wanmck ifound himself 
compened .to sucvender Ha^rve to the fh-emch, 'aivd bpmg the 
:BiGkiy oemnant 4jf ;his army home. They ^ix>tight 4he kifeclasn 
iwhh Ihem, and ttwenty ^housaivdl persons died 'in the tof^tp^po- 
hs :a:kme.^ iThe jpestiience lasted meariy a yeair, which caiised 
itiDBe jcpieen to withdraw her court to Windsor. The approach 
of the maiden monarch was hailed by the youtbftfl 'classics at 
£tDii wiibh ivapturotxs delight ; and in the fervour c^ then* loyal 
jsnstdnusiassn itthe^ proclaimed an ovation to Queen HHzaheth, 
and afifared itheir homage in every variety of Laftfe verses and 
xi)cations, *whioh were very gradously received by her Majesty. 
Elimbeth was always On ^e moi^ fifffectionaite terms with this 
royal nmsery of scholars, was <muoh beloved and honoiaved by 

Cecil, in his diaa:y, proudly recalls 'the fact, that the queen's 
majesty on the 6th of July, 1564, stood for.his infiKnt daughter, 
to %hom she g»ve hex own name. La^dy Lenox appears, not 
.only to have obtained her liberty at that time, but to have 
segflnned her (Standing at court, as £rsic lady of the btood-rqyal ; 
tfer -we lind, that she sissisted her Majesty on (hat occasion as 
Jihe other jgodmcflrher. The •same sumnier, tke queen decided 
«Ri visitiing the University of Cambndge, a/t the request of Sir 
William Ceoi^, who, m .additian to his other high offices, was 
also chancellor of this university. He was unluckily attacked 
with what he termed " an unhappy grief in his foot " — no other 
than a painful fit of the gout — just at the time when he was 
ciervousdy anxious that al things should be ar^aji^d^ in the 
jfiost pecfec^ manner, for the honour of his soveveign and aiima 
maUr, The -energy of his mind prevailed over the maliadjr, 'so 
fao", that he went with his lady in a coach on the 4th.Qf Augusi^ 
to overlook the preparations for her Majesty*s reception. The 
nen day *the queen came from Mr. Worthington's house at 
Hastingfield, where she had slept on the preceding night. She 
was «met hy the Dufce df Norfolk, the Earl of Sussex, the Bishop 
4rf Ety, and an Irtinourable company, by whom she was <;on- 
docted towards the town. The TOayor and corporation met 
tint sovereign a Kttle above Newroham, and therc alighted and 
f^rfenned their devoir^ and die recorder made an oration in 
Bh^i^. Then «he mayor delivered 1^ tnace wkh a feir 
fetandmg <5up, which cosit 19/., and twcwty gold angels « Jt, 
<wl»vch her Majesty recemd,^ gently returned the siace to the 
utasy&c^ aad^elFv^red the cop to tDne of her /ootmen. When 

1 Stoxrob * MS. Harieian. Niebdh 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 195 

she caone to New^am MMsy being requested to diange tier 
hoxve, site ali^ted, «nd went into tht miller's house for a Uttle 
spaoe. Then ^tue and all her ladies being remounted, proceeded 
in Hair aivay*; and as they neaped the town, the trumpeters by 
solemn blast declared her Majesty's approach. When they 
entered Queens' OoUege, and her Majesty was ra the midst of 
die sciholars, two appointed for the purpose knelt before her, 
and, kissing their papers, offered them to 'her <]iTace; the 
queen, uiMkistahdcng that tfeejr <:onta4ned congr«ti^tory 
addresses in prose and verse^ received and delirered them to 
one of her footmen. When they reached the doctors, all t^e 
loi^s and 'kudies alighted, lier Majesty cmly remained on 

She was dressed in a gown of black velyet pinked (eut 
vedYm), ^and had a caul upon her head set with pearls and 
precious stones, aad a hat t4at iraB spa^igled with gold, and a 
bush «rf leathers. When her Majesty came to the west door of 
the dtaupel, Sir Wdliam Cecil kneeled down and welcomed her, 
and the beadks kneeling, Idssed -^leir staves, and deltvered 
tibem to Mr, Seci^etary, whioi ^cewisekissifig the same, delivered 
them into the queen's hands, «ii^ eould not well hoild them all, 
and her Grace gentfy«nd mem^y re-delivered them, witling him 
and M the other magistrafbes of the university "to minister 
jtutice 4!^igh(ly, or !she would take them into her own hands, 
and see to it ; " adding;, "that (^ough the chancellor halted, his 
feg being sore, yet she trusted tliat Justice did not halt" 

All this time Elteabefih was on horseback, and befoie she 
aligbted oame Master W^ Masters, kdC King% College, orator, 
tnaOcing his tiiree reven-oioes, kneelmg down on the first Step of 
Ite west door (which was with the waUs outward covered with 
verses), and made his oration, in length ahnost half an hour, in 
effect as follows. Fimt, he praised msmy and singular virtues 
set and piknted in her Majesty, which her Highness, not 
actoowledging, bit her lips amd fiagers, and sometimes broke 
iHto passion, and interropted with these words, ** N&n ^st 
venXas," But the orator frassihg virginity, she exclaimed, 
rood's blesstEig on thine ^heaapt, there contirrae I " 

When he had finisAied, the queen tnuch commmded him, 
maA imanre^d that his memory did H3o well serve him to repeat 
sad^L dbvers-and simdry (matters, saying, "that she woufld 
answer him again in Latin, but for feiur >she should speak ft^kie 
Latin, and t&eh «hey would feugh at her.** But m fine, in 
token of her contentment she called him to her, offered him her 
hand to kiss, and asked his name. 

Digitized by VjOOQ iC 

196 Elizabeth 

She was lodged in King's College, the best chambers aod 
gallery being devoted to her use. The fellows of King's 
resigned their monastic dormitories for the accommodation ot 
Lady Strange and the fair maids of honour of the virgin 

The next day was Sunday, and the Queen went in great state 
to King's College Chapel ; she entered at the Litany under a 
canopy, carried over her head by four doctors of divinity. Dr. 
Perne preached the sermon, and when he was in the midst of 
it, her Majesty sent the Lord Hunsdon to will him to put on 
his cap, which he wore to the end. At which time, ere he 
could leave the pulpit, she sent him word by the Lord Cham- 
berlain " that it was the first sermon she had ever heard in 
Latin, and she thought she should never hear a better." When 
the music of the choir concluded, she departed by the private 
way into the college, the four doctors bearing her canopy.^ 

At evening prayer, the queen was not expected at the chapel, 
therefore the singing commenced, but, being informed .her 
-Majesty was then coming through the private passage, it 
stopped ; and when she was seated in her traverse, even-song 
^Sommenced anew, which ended, she departed by her usual 
way, and went to the play. This, by the Protestants who sur- 
rounded Elizabeth, must have been considered a desecration of 
the Sabbath evenii^, if Cambridge did not at that time follow 
an ancient practice, (prevalent in some parts of Europe,) where 
the Sabbath was considered to commence on the Saturday 
evening, and to end on the Sunday after evening prayer. The 
customs and manners of an age and people must always be con- 
sidered charitably, before violent blame is incurred ; and it is 
possible, from so many traces that exist of Elizabeth's up- 
roarious mode of spending our Sabbath evening, that some 
such reckoning of time was in vogue in her days. 

She went to see one of Plautus' plays — the " Aulularia,'* — 
"for the hearing and playing of which, at her .expense a vast 
platform was erected in King's Collie Church.'* The perfor- 
mance of a pagan play in a Christian church, on the Sunc^y 
evening, was no great improvement on the ancient Moralities 
and Mysteries, which, in retrospective review, are so revolting to 
modern taste. Those who glance over the Mysteries must feel 
displeased at finding that sacred subjects could be. 30 absurdly 
dramatized, yet these Mysteries wete Ustejied to with reverential 
awe by a demi^avage people, who saw nothing ridiculous or pro- 

1 Which the footiAen, adds the Cambridge Diary, claimed as their fee, and it was 
redeemed for 3/. 6*. 8</. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 197 

fane in the manner ofshewing the Creation, the history of Noah, 
or of Joseph, the intention being to make them comprehensible 
to the eye, when the untaught ear refused to follow the thread 
of sacred history. But Elizabeth and Cambridge had more 
knowledge, if not more wisdom, and ought to have banished 
their pagan play from the walls of a Christian temple.^ 

When all things were ready in the church for this play, the 
Lord Chamberlain and Cecil came in with a multitude of the 
guard bearing staff torches, no other lights being used at the 
play. The guard stood on the ground, bearing their torches on 
each side of the stage ; and a very curious pictorial effect must 
the glaring torch-light have thrown on the groups of spectators. 

At last, the queen entered with her ladies and gentlewomen, 
Lady Strange carrying her train, and the gentlemen pensioners 
preceding her with torch staves. She took her seat under a 
canopy of state, raised on the south wall of the church opposite 
to the stage, where she heard out the play fully, till twelve 
o'clock, when she departed to her chamber in the order that 
she came. 

Next day the queen attended the disputations at St Mary's 
Church, where an ample stage was erected for the purpose. 
All the scholars had been ordered previously to enclose them- 
selves in their colleges and halls; none but those who had 
taken a degree were permitted to appear, and among these, 
great inquisition was made r^arding dress, for the queen's eyes 
had been roaming, during sermon time the preceding day, over 
the congregation, and she found sharp fault with sundry ragged 
and soiled hoods and gowns, likewise she was displeased that 
some of the doctors' hoods were lined with white silk, and some 
with miniver. 

" At the ringing of the university bell the queen's majesty 
came to her place with royal pomp. As she passed, the 
graduates kneeled, and cried, modestly, * Vivat Regina 1 ' and 
she thanked them." She then questioned the chancellor, her 
minister. Cecil, on the degrees and difference of every person 

The question whether " monarchy were better than a 
republic," was the leading subject of the disputation, which was 
moved by the celebrated Dr. Caius. But, as the voices of the 
three doctors who disputed were low, the queen repeatedly 
called to them, "Loquimini altius." But finding this did no 
good, she left her seat and came to the edge of the stage, just 

1 The stage was at first ereaed in King's College Hall, but was not considered large 
enough, and therefore taken down, and erected in the church by the queen^|^orders. 

tized by Google 

198 Elizabeth 

over'tbcir heads, yet she coufld hear littie of the disputation. 
HcB own physician, Dr^ Hyckes^ a doctor of the coHqpe^. decided 
the disputatioo, " with whom her Majesty iwerriiy jested wkea 
he asked. Icence of her Gatace:." After this oistoaasi cosKrloded, 
the queen departed merrily to her lodging, aboot seven o'clock. 
At nine she went to another play, acted in; the church, called 
Dido. Her entertainment at King's ended next evening with 
another play ini English, called Ezechiisis^ and she liked her 
entertainment so well "that die declared if there had been 
greater prov&ion of ale and beer she would) have remained till 
Friday." 1 

Her visk to Canibridge was however noit conchndied, €he was 
entertained at various colleges,, and at Christ'a Deceived a pair 
of ^oves^ m memory of hex great-girandidame. Lady Margavet, 
the fbmidress, mother of Henry VI L As she rode through, the 
street to her lodging, she talked much with divers scholars m 
Latin, and,, at alighting from her hoFse, dismissed them. in. 

The day before she quitted Cambridge, at the concliasrai- of 
a disputatnon in St. Mary's Church, the Ehike of Norfolk and 
L«Kd Robert; kneeling down, hum;Wy desired her Majesty " to 
say somewhat in Latin,'' who at iint refused (mark^ she had a 
set Latin oration ready prepared and conned by heart for the 
occasion:), and said, "that if she might speak her ntind in 
English, she would not stick at the matter." But understand- 
ing by Mr. Secretary that nothing mi^t be said openly to the 
imiversity in English, she required him rather to speak^ 
" because he was chaooelior, andl the chancellor is the queen's: 
mouth.'' WheseuntO! he answered, "that he was not ker 
chancellor, but chancellor of the university." Then the Bishop 
of Ely, kneeling, said, " that three words of her month were 
enough." So* being pressed ori' every side, she complied,: and 
made a veryi^snsible speech, kt which, amcoig other thiings, she 
raised the expectadtions of tiie university with respect t& some 
royai fogmdaticsv which, however^ she never^ thought fit to 

Her speech hegmii thm :■ — 

** Although' womanly shame-facedtiess, most celebrated universf^, might 
well determine me* (torn ddivering this my irateboured Oration beffbre sa 
great ast rnnrdblji of the teamed, yet the intcrcessioa of my noibiel-andL my 
own good wUi towards the universky^i impel saji somewhat.," 

It contained nine other sections. The conclusion was — 

partments at King's duri 

Digitized by VjOOglC 

1 She seems to have continued to nae her %leepln|; apartments at King's during her 
whole stay* 

Elkabeth 199 

" Itis time, tbcn, llhat ^onr eats, vr)k\ch hare livea m long detained by 
thi&bftcbariQtta-sofft of an oxatioB. should now be released £som the paiiv 

A« Hftfe speecfi of the- qaeea-s^ the auditors, being aU 
marvellously astonished, brake forth m open voicje, " Vivat 
Regitia ! '' But the queen's majesly responded to this shoot, 
" TaceafI Regiaa F" and moreover wished "that all those who- 
feeap* her had drank of Lethe." 

She d^arted from Cambridge cva the loth of August, passxng' 
&am King's College by the schcpofe; Dr. Ptrne, with many of 
the uttiversity, kndt, and, m Lalin, wished her Majesty a good 
journey. To whom she wsMIy answered with a distinct voicej 
" Valete onrnes*—** Farewell all." The Master of Magdalen 
was ready with a Lalin oration of toeweU, which she declined 
on account of the heat of the day ; 9sn6 rode forward te dinner 
at the Bishop of Elfs house at SlanCDOk All t^e benediction' 
she bestowed at this Tisit was 20/. per annum ta a handsome' 
student who* had/ acted Dido much to hep satisfaction. 

The repo^ that her former suitop, the Archduke Charles, was: 
in treaty for the hand of the Queen of Scots, filled Elizabeth's^ 
mind with jealous dispfeasure, for of all the princes &( Europe 
he was esteemed the most honourable and chivalric, and 
l^izabetVs rejectioi^ of his suit appears to have been only for 
the pu^se of obtaining concessions on the swbject d his 
religion more consistent with her own profession. She made 
very earnest remonstrances to* the Queew of Scots on the* 
unsuitat^eness of this alliance; and Cecil, at the saane tacive, 
wrote to Mtmdt,^ owe of the pensiottariesin- Germany, la move 
the Duke of Wirteraburg to advise the emperor to repeat the 
offer oi his son to the C^eenof Englfend. Theduke performed 
his part with all due regard to the hoDoor of her maiden 
Majesty, for he sent an envoy to entreat her to permit him Vo» 
name a person whom he considered wooM make her very 
happy kk the wedded statei at the same time that he preferred 
his private missiofl t» the emperor. Elizabeth replied, with 
her usual prudery on the subject of marriagei **that a-khough 
she feh no inclination towards matrkncHiy, she was wiflfing, for 
the good of her reate, to receive the commofricaftion of which 
the dtike had spdten ;'* unfortunately, however, the emperor 
had taken umbrage at the previotfs rejection of his son^s 
addresses, and declared, " he would not expose himself to a 

* Translation by Mr. Peek. The whole is drawn from a diary in MS., and collated by 
Mr. Nichols in bb " Progresses of Elizabeth," with a contemporary MS, in the Uarleian 

8 Hajrnes. ^ i 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

200 Elizabeth 

second insult of the kind." ^ When Elizabeth found she could 
not withdraw the archduke from Mary, she determined to com- 
pel Mary to resign him. Accordingly, she gave that queen 
to understand that she could not consent to her contracting 
such a marriage, which must prove inimical to the friendship 
between the two Crowns, and that, " unless Mary would marry 
as she desired, she would probably forfeit all hope of a p^ceful 
succession to the English crown." Mary had the complaisance 
to give up this accomplished prince, who was, perhaps, the only 
man in Europe worthy of becoming her husband, and professed 
her willingness to listen to the advice of her good sister, if she 
wished to propose a more suitable consort. 

Randolph, Elizabeth's ambassador, suggested that an English 
noble would be more agreeable to his royal mistress than any 
other person. Mary requested to be informed more clearly on 
this point, for it was generally supposed, that the young Duke 
of Norfolk, being the kinsman of the queen, and one of the 
richest subjects in England, was the person intended for this 
signal honour by his sovereign.^ Elizabeth electrified both 
courts by naming her own favourite, Lord Robert Dudley. 
Mary replied, '^ that she considered it beneath her dignity to 
marry a subject," and told her base brother, Murray, who 
repeated her unlucky witticism to the English ambassador, 
^* that she looked on the offer of a person so dear to Elizabeth, 
as a proof of good will rather, than of good meaning." » Eliza- 
beth, soon after, complained that Mary had treated the pro- 
posal of Lord Robert Dudley with mockery,* which Mary, in 
a letter to her own ambassador at Paris, affirms that she never 
did, and wondered " who could have borne such testimony, to 
embroil her with that queen." If, however, Mary forbore from 
mockery at this offer, no one else did, for it was a theme of 
public mirth and satire, in England, Scotland, and France. 
Dudley, who had the presumption to aim at a still higher mark, 
and had been encouraged, by the extraordinary tokens of favour 
lavished upon him by his royal mistress, to conceive confident 
hopes of success, was surprised and offended at his own 
nomination to an honour, so infinitely above the rank and pre- 
tensions of any person of his name and family. In fact, he 
regarded it as a snare laid in his path by Cecil, who was jealous 
of his influence with Elizabeth, and would, he suspected, avail 
himself of this pretence to remove him from her court and 
presence. Elizabeth was flattered at Dudley's reluctance to wed 

1 Haynei. « Keith. i Ibid. 

* Letters of Mary Queen of Scots, voL L 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 201 

her fairer rival, and redoubled her commendations of his various 
qualifications to the favour of a royal lady ; she even offered to 
acknowledge Mary as her successor to the crown of England, 
on condition of her becoming his wife.^ The hope of obtain- 
ing this recognition was artfully held out to Mary, as the lure to 
draw her into the negotiation, and so far it succeeded, although 
the royal beauty was not sufficiently an adept in diplomatic 
trickery, to conceal, at all times, the scorn with which she 
regarded a suitor so infinitely beneath her. Meantime she 
was secretly courted by her aunt, Lady Lenox, for the young 
Henry Lord Damley, and was believed to incline towards that 

At the very time Elizabeth was recommending her handsome 
master of the horse to her good sister of Scotland, she had so 
littie command over herself, that she was constantly betraying 
her own partiality for him to Sir James Melville, Mary's envoy, 
who, in his lively " Historic Memoirs " gives a succession of 
graphic scenes between Elizabeth and himself. " She told me," 
says his excellency, "that it appeared to her as if I made but 
small account of Lord Robert, seeing that I named the Earl of 
Bedford before him, but ere it were long she would make him 
a greater earl,^ and I should see it done before me, for she 
esteemed him as one, whom she should have married herself, 
if she had ever been minded to take a husband; but being 
determined to end her life in virginity, she wished that the 
queen, her sister, should marry him, for with him she might 
find it in her heart to declare Queen Mary second person, 
rather than with any other; for, being matched with him, it would 
best remove out of her mind all fear and suspicion of usurpation 
before her death." * 

Elizabeth would not permit Sir James Melville to return 
home till he had seen Dudley created Earl of Leicester and 
Baron of Denbigh. This was done with great state at West- 
minster; "herself," says Melville, " helping to put on his robes, 
he sitting on his knees before her, and keeping a great gravity 
and discreet behaviour, but as fpr the queen she could not 
refrain from putting her hand in his neck to tickle him, 

1 MelviUe. 

S In her fifth year, the queen granted Lord Robert Dudley the castle and manor of 
Kenilworth and Astet-gxovo, the lordships and manors of Denbigh and Chirk, with other 
possessions, and a licence for transporting cloth, which he sold to John Mark, and others, 
of the company of merchant^tdventurers ; the next year, the queen recommended him for 
a husband to Mary Queen of Scots, whidi, however, only seems to have been an excuse 
for lavishing new honours and immunities upon him, for she then advanced him to the 
dignity of £arl of Leicester and Baron of Denbigh, with a plurality of oflkes and 
pnvileges too numerous to detail here.— See Sidney Papers. 

s Sir James Melville's Memoirs, p. zx^i r-^ t 

Digitized by W^OglC 

202 Elizabeth 

smilingly, the French ambassador and I standing beside her.^ 
Then she asked me, ' how I liked him ? ' I said, * as he was a 
worthy subject, so he was happy in a great prince, who could 
discern and reward good service.' * Yet,' relied she, * ye like 
better of yon lang lad,' pointing towards my Lord Damley, who^ 
as nearest prince of the blood, that day bare the sword before her. 
My answer again was, 'that no woman of spirit would make chcnce 
of sic a man, that was liker a woman than a man, for he was 
lusty, beardless, and lady-faced.' I had no will that she should 
thiiUc I liked him, though I had a secret change to deal with 
his mother, Lady Lenox, to purchase leave for him to pass to 

"During the nine days I remained at court," pursues 
Melville, '* Queen Elizabeth saw me every day, and sometimes 
thrice a day ; to wit, aforenoon, afternoon, and after supper ; 
she continued to treat of Queen Mary's marriage with Leicester, 
and meantime I was familiarly and favourably used ; sometimes 
she would say, Hhat since she could not see the good queen 
her siftter, she should open a good part of her inward mind to 
me^ that she was not offended with Queen Mary's ang^ letter^ 
in which she seemed to disdain the marriage with Leicester, 
and she should set the best lawyers in England to search out, 
who had the best right to the crown of En^and, whidi she 
w<9!^ild wish to be her dearest sister rather than any other/ I 
replied, ' there could be no doubt on that head, but lamented, 
that even the wisest princes did not take sufficient notice of the 
partialities of their familiar friends and oounciUocs, except it 
were sic a iiiotable and rare prince as Henry VIIL, her father, 
who of his own head was determined to declare his sister's son, 
James V., (at which time Elizabeth was not bom, but only her 
sister. Queen Mary,) heir ai^rent to the crown of En^and, 
failing the hairs of his own body, for the earnest desire he had 
to unite the whole island.' She said, *she was glad he did 
not ; ' I said, 'he had but then a danghter, and was in doubt to 
have any more children, and as yet lad not so many suspicions 
]Q his head.' And added, 'that her Majesty was out of ail 
doubt regarding her childrec^ being determined to die a virgin.' 

" She said, * she was never minded to marry, except she were 
compelled by the queen her sister's hard behaviour to her.^ I 
said, ' Madam, ye need not teU me that I know yoar sttttdy 
stomach. Ye think, gin ye were married, ye would be but 
fueen of England, and now ye aie king and queen baith,— ye 
may not su&r a commander.' 

1 Sir James Melville't Memoin, |k xa§. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 203 

"She appeared to be so aiTectionate to Queen Mary, ho: 
good sister, that she had a great desire to see her, and because 
that could not be, she delighted oft to look on her picture. 
She took me to her bedchamber, and opened a little leUroun^ 
(perhaps a desk,) vhere there were divers little pictures wrapped 
in paper, theur names written with her own Imnd. Upon the 
first she took up was written, ' My lord's picturep' This was 
Leicester's poilcait. I held the candle, and pressed to see my 
lord's picture. Alb^, she was loth to let me see it, but I be- 
came importmiate for it, to carry home to my queen; she 
refused, saying, 'she had but one of his.' I replied, 'She had 
the oiiguial.' She was then at the further end of her bed- 
chamber, talking with Cecil Elizabeth then took out my 
queen's (of Scots) miniature, and kissed it" Melville kissed 
her hand in acknowledgment of the great fondness she mani- 
fested to Mary. 

''She shewed me," he continues, "a fair ruby, great like a 
racket balL I desired she would either send it to my queen^ or 
the Earl of Leicester's picture. She replied, ' If Queen Mary 
would follow her counsel she would get them both in time, and 
all she had, but she would send her a diamond as a token by 
me.' Now, as it was late^ after supper she appointed me to be 
with her next morning at eight, at whidi time was her hour for 
walking in the garden ; ^le taUced with me of my travels, and 
invited me to eat with her dame of honour, my Lady StaiSbrd, 
one honourable and godly lady, who had been banished to 
Geneva in the reign of Queen Mary of Blngland." 

In the course of Melville's oonierences with Queen Elizabeth, 
the female costume of different countries was discussed, and 
how they became the persons of women. She tokl him she had 
the weeds (costume) <rf every civilized country, and gave proof 
of it by appearing in a fresh one every day, and asking the 
Scotch ambassador which was most becoming. " I said, ' The 
Italian weed,' "continues Melville, "which pleased her well, for 
she delighted to shew her golden*coloured hair by wearing a 
caul and bonnet as they do in Italy. Her hair was redder than 
yellow, and curled apparently by natuce." Than she inquired 
" what coloured hair was reputed best, and whether my queen's 
hair or hers was the best^ aiid which of the two was the 

Melville's answer was perptexing in its ambiguity, he said, 
"The fairness of both was not their worst faults." Elizabeth 
was not to be baffled by an oracular compliment she came 

1 Meaning the nast beantifiil womaa. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

204 Elizabeth 

again to the question direct, and was earnest for Melville to 
declare, which of them both he thought the fairest. 

Melville answered, " * You are the fairest queen in England 
and ours the fairest queen in Scotland.' Yet," he continues, 
"was she earnest." The poor ambassador then declared, 
" They were both the fairest ladies in their courts ; that she was 
the whitest, but that our queen was very lovely." She inquired, 
" * which of them was the highest stature.' I answered ' our 
queen.' * Then she is over high,' returned Elizabeth, * for I am 
neither too high nor too low.' Then she asked how she (Queen 
Mary) exercised and employed her time. I answered, * When 
I left Scotland on my embassy, our queen was newly come from 
the Highland hunting ; but that when she had leisure, she read 
in good books, the histories of divers countries, and would 
sometimes play on the lute and virginals.' Elizabeth," con- 
tinues Melville, " speered (asked) whether Mary played well." 

"Reasonably well for a queen," was the very discreet 
answer. This conversation occasioned a droll little scene of 
display and vanity to be got up by Elizabeth. The same day 
after dinner, Lord Hunsdon, Elizabeth's cousin, drew Melville 
into a retired gallery to hear some music. He whispered, as a 
secret, " that it was the queen playing on the virginals." 

The ambassador listened awhile, and then withdrew the 
tapestry that hung before the doorway, boldly entered the 
room, and stood listening in an entranced attitude near the 
door, and heard her play excellently well. Her back was to 
the listener, at length she turned her head, affected to see 
him, and left off, coming forwards as if to strike him with her 
hand, as pretending to be ashamed; alleging "that she used 
not to play before men, but when she was solitary, to eschew 
melancholy, and asked ' how I came there ? ' I replied, ' that 
as I was walking with my Lord Hunsdon, as we passed by 
the chamber-door, I heard sic melody, which raised and drew 
me into the chamber, I wist not how, excusing my fault of 
homeliness, as being brought up in the court of France, and 
that I was now willing to endure any punishment it would 
please her to lay on my offence.' " This expert flattery had 
Its expected effect. The royal coquette sat herself down low 
on a cushion, to imbibe another dose of it, and the audacious 
flatterer placed himself on his knee beside her. She gave 
him, with her own hand, a cushion to place under his knee ; 
Melville protested against such an innovation on the rules of 
gallantry, but the queen compelled him, and called in my 
Lady Stafford out of the next chamber to chaperon the 

Digitized by VjOOglC 

Elizabeth 205 

conference, for hitherto she had been tUe-h-ttte with the Scotch 
ambassador. This arrangement having been happily made, 
her Majesty proceeded to display the rest of her accomplish- 
ments. First, she demanded "whether she or the Queen of 
Scots played best?" "In that," says Melville, "I gave her 
the praise. She said my French was good, and speered 
whether I could speak Italian, which she spake reasonably 
well. Then she spake to me in Dutch, but it was not good ; 
she would know what kind of books I liked best, whether 
theology, history, or love matters, I said, * I liked weel of all 
the sorts.' I was earnest to be despatched, but she said ' that 
I tired sooner of her company than she did of mine ; ' I said, 
* Albeit there was no occasion to tire, yet it was time to return.' 
But two days longer was I detained, that I might see her 
dance ; quhtlk being done, she inquired at me, ' whether she 
or my queen danced best?' I said, 'my queen danced not 
so high or disposedly as she did.'" Whereby it may be 
gathered that Mary danced like an elegant woman ; but surely 
the elaborate dancing of a vain affected person could scarcely 
be better defined than by Melville. 

" Elizabeth wished that she might see the Queen of Scotland 
at some convenient place of meeting. I offered," pursues 
Melville, " to convey her secretly to Scotland by post, clothed 
in the disguise of a page, that she might see our mistress, as 
King James V. passed in disguise to France, to see the Duke 
of Vendome's sister, that should have been his wife." Melville 
carried on this romantic badinage, by proposing, " that Queen 
Elizabeth should give out that she was sick and kept her 
chamber, and none to be privy to her absence, but my Lady 
Stafford and one of the grooms of her chamber. She sai^ 
'Alas, would she might do it 1 ' and seemed to like well of that 
kind of language." This scene took place at Hampton Court, 
where Melville at last received his dismissal, and departed 
with Leicester, by water, to London. On their voyage, Leicester 
apologized for his presumptuous proposal for the hand of the 
Queen of Scots, which he assured her ambassador, apparently 
with sincerity enough, "was a wily move of Mr. Secretary 
Cecil, designed to ruin him with both queens."^ 

Elizabeth appears to have pressed this marriage on her 
royal kinswoman of Scotland, without any real intention of 
resigning her favourite to that queen, but rather for the 
purpose, it has been supposed, of paving the way for her own 
marriage with him, by having proved that she esteemed him 

1 Melville's Memoirs, pb 126, Sept, 1564. ^ I 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

2o6 Elizabeth 

worthy of being the consort of another female sovereign. If 
Mary could have been induced to signify her consent to accept 
Leicester for her husband, then probably it was intended for 
him to declare the impossibihty of his resigning the service of 
his royal mistress, even to become the spouse ci the Queen of 
Scots, and this would have afforded Elizabeth a really popular 
opportunity of rewarding him for the sacrifice with her own 
hand. Matters never reached this point ; for when Mary was 
urged to accept the newly-created English earl, the Queen- 
mother of France, and her kinsmen of the house of Guise, 
expressed the utmost contempt at the idea of so unsuitable an 
alliance, and assured her, that Elizabeth intended to marry 
him herself.^ This opinion must have had some weight when 
united with Melville's report, of the indecorous manner in 
which the English queen had committed herself, in toying 
with Leicester, during the ceremonial of his investiture, unre- 
strained even by the presence of the foreign ambassadors* 
Meantime, peace having been established with France, a regal 
suitor was offered to Elizabeth's acceptance in the person of 
Charles IX., the youthful monarch of that realm, who had 
been recently declared by the States of France to have attained 
his majority, although his mother, Catherine de Medicis^ con- 
tinued to govern in his name. He was, at this time, about 
sixteen, and Elizabeth with great propriety replied to Michel 
Castelnau, the ambassador by whom the propc^al was submitted 
to her, " that she was greatly obliged for the signal honour that 
was done her by so mighty and powerful a king, to whom, as 
well as to the queen, his mother, she professed herself infinitely 
beholden, but that she felt this difficulty — ^the most Christian 
king, her good brother, was too great and too small — rtoo great, 
as the monarch of such a realm, to b& able to quit his own 
dominions to cross the sea and r^natn in England, where the 
people always expected their kings and queens to live. Too 
small," she explained by saying, " that his Majesty was young 
and she was already thirty, which she called old." Castelnau, 
not being accustomed to Elizabeth's coquettish manners^ far 
from suspecting that this depreciatory remark on her own age, 
was a trap for a complimentary rejoinder, on his part, gave her 
credit for meaning what she said, and adds with great simplicity, 
" She has said, the same thing ever since her accession to the 
throne, although there is not a lady in her court who surpasses 
her in her endowments of mind and body." * 
The English nobles suggested to Castelnau, that the young 

1 Camden. > Memoirs de Michel Castelnaot folio edition. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 207 

Duke of Anjou, Charles IX/s brother, would be, m point of 
situation, a more suitable consort for the queen than Charles, 
as neither France nor England could p^mit the absence of 
their respective sovereigns. The French, they said, would not 
like their king to reside in England, nor would the English 
permit their queen to live in France. Elizabeth gave no 
encouragement, at that time, to overtures for her union with 
either of the royal brothers of Valois, and Castelnau proceeded 
to Scotland to offer the younger prince to the other island 
queen, Mary Stuart, of whom he speaks, in his despatches to 
his own court, in the most lively terms of admiration and 

A matrimonial union b^ween the Crowns of England and 
France, was too brilliant a chimera to be hastily or lightly 
abandcoied by that restless intriguante and shallow politician, 
Catherine de Medicis, and she subsequently empowered the 
resident French ambassador De Foys, to renew the pn^osal 
for a marriage between her eldest son, the youthful sovereign 
of France, and the maiden monarch of England To tbos 
second overture, Elizabeth replied* — 

"I find myself, on the one hand, much honoured by the 
proposal of the French king ; on the other, I am older than 
he, and would rather die than see myself despised and 
neglected. My subjects, I am assured, would oppose no 
obstacle, if it were my wish, for they have more &an once 
prayed me to marry after my own inclination. It is true they 
have said, ' that it would pleasure them if my choice should 
fall on an Englishman.' In England, however, there is no one 
disposable in marriage but the Earl of Arundel,' and he is 
further removed from the match than the east frcwn the west ; 
and as to the Earl of Leicester, I have always loved his 
virtues." The ambassador was too finished a courtier, it 
seems, to interrupt her Majesty by asking her to pomt these 
out — a question, which certainly would embaxrass the most 
partial apologist of the crimes, of this bold, but not bcave, 
bad man. '* But,'' pursues Elizabeth, ** the aspirations towards 

1 Memoirs de Michel Castelnau. * Despatches of De Fo^s. 

S This great peer was at that time under die ebod of his xoyal mistress's diapkftsnrs. 
He had stood her friend, in the season of her utmost peril,^at the risk of his life and 
estate. He had been made her tool in poUtics and her sport m secret. His vast fortune 
had proved luieqiul to support the expenaqs he had incorred, in pi-eaents ^nd entertain* 
moits suited to the ma^ificent tastes of the lofty lady, on whom ne had had the folly to 
fix his h^ut, and he was tavolved in pecuniary difficulties. At length, irritated bv the 
undisguised preference the queen daily manifested towards thosc^ who had no such daims 
on her consideration, he haughtily returned his staff of office, as Lord Hi^h Steward, to 
her Majesty, widi sundiy offensive speeches, which she took in such ill part, as to 
constitute him a prisoner m bis own house. He then solicited, and after a time obtained, 
leave to travel in Italy to recndthis rained foctnnes. See Cecil'a letter in Wright, L z8'~ 


by Google 

2o8 Elizabeth 

honour and greatness which are in me, cannot suffer him as 
a companion and a husband." 

After this confidential explanation of her feelings towards the 
two rival earls, her subjects, her Majesty, in allusion to the 
extreme youthfulness of her regal wooer, added, laughing, 
" My neighbour, Mary Stuart, is younger than I am ; she will 
perhaps better please the king." " This has never been spoken 
of," replied De Foys, " she having been the wife of his brother." 
"Several persons," rejoined Elizabeth, "and among others, 
Lethington, have tried to persuade me that such a pkui was in 
agitation, but I did not believe it." 

A few days after, Elizabeth sent for De Foys again, and 
repeated her objections to the marriage with his boy-king. De 
Foys endeavoured to convince her they were of no weight, but, 
after a little courtly flattery had been expended, the negotiation 
was broken off.^ 

This summer Elizabeth honoured Leicester with her first 
visit to his new manor of Kenilworth, in the course of her 
progress through the midland coimties. 

When she entered the city of Coventry, the mayor and 
corporation who had met and welcomed her, presented her 
with a purse supposed to be worth twenty marks, containing a 
hundred pounds in gold angels. The queen, on receiving it, 
said to her lords, " It is a good gift ; I have but few such, for it 
is a hundred pounds in gold." The mayor boldly rejoined, 
"If it like your Grace, it is a great deal more." "What is 
that ? " asked the queen. The mayor answered, " It is the 
faithfiil hearts of all your true loving subjects." " We thank 
you, Mr. Mayor," said the queen ; " that is a great deal more 
indeed."^ She invited the mayor and corporation to visit her 
at Kenilworth, on the following Tuesday, which they did, and 
were admitted to kiss her hand. She gave them thirty bucks, 
and knighted the recorder. 

If Elizabeth, at this period, were not in love with Leicester, 
the proverb which affirms that " of the fulness of the heart the 
mouth speaketh," must go for nought; for she was always 
talking of him, and that not only to those sympathizing listeners, 
her ladies of the bedchamber, but to such unsuitable confidants 
as the ambassadors — ergo, accredited spies, of foreign poten- 
tates. Well might the wily son of Burleigh observe of this 
queen, " that if to-day she was more than man, to-morrow she 
would be less than woman." * 

' De Foys Despatches. > Dugdale's Warwickshire, 

* Sir R. Cecil's Letter, in Harringtoo's Nugs. 

Digitized by VjOOglC • 

Elizabeth 209 

De Foys' reports appear to have convinced his own court, 
that it was Elizabeth's positive intention to give her hand to 
Leicester, for Catherine de Medicis enjoined him to cultivate 
the good will of this favoured peer, and entitle the royal family 
of France to his gratitude, by advocating the match with the 
Queen of England " I told Queen Elizabeth," writes De Foys, 
in reply to the queen-mother, "that she could do nothing 
better for the welfare, repose, and content of her kingdom, 
than to espouse one of the great peers of England, and that 
she would put an affront upon the king and your Majesty, if 
she were to wed any other foreign prince, after having finally 
grounded her rejection of the king on the plea that a stranger 
would be unwelcome to the English." Elizabeth replied, " that 
she was not yet decided whom to marry," observing, ''that ev^i 
if she espoused a person without extensive possessions, his 
marriage with her would give him the means of engaging in 
pernicious schemes and intrigues. For this reason," continued 
she, "I will never concede to a husband any share in my 
power ; " and added, " that but for the sake of posterity and 
the good of her realm, she would not marry at all. If she did, 
however, she did not mean to follow his advice by wedding a 
subject ; she had it in her power to wed a king if she pleased, 
or a powerful prince so as to overawe France." ^ This was in 
allusion to the Archduke Charles, who having been decisively 
rejected by Mary of Scotland, was renewing his suit to her. 
She complained " that Charles IX. took part with the Queen of 
Scots, while Damley was writing her submissive letters and 
seeking her protection." This reproachful observation proves 
that Elizabeth and Darnley were already secretly reconciled. 
She had vehemently opposed his marriage with Mary Stuart, 
and yet had permitted him to visit the court of that queen. 

The hitherto impr^nable heart of the beautiful widow, had 
surrendered itself at first sight of "the beardless, lady-fSwred 
boy," and Damley paid no heed to the peremptory mandates of 
his sometime English sovereign, to retiu-n at peril of outlawry, 
and forfeiture of his English inheritance. He kept the field of 
his new fortunes, and was a thriving wooer. 

De Foys, as soon as he heard the Queen of Scots had 
resolved on the marriage with her cousin Darnley, went to 
Elizabeth with the intention of defending Mary ; he found the 
queen at chess, and said, profiting by the opportunity of intro- 
ducing the subject, " This game is an image of the words and 
deeds of men. If, for example, we lose a pawn, it seems but a 

1 From the Despatches of De Foys, August, 1565. 

Digitized by VjOOg IC 

2IO Elizabeth 

small matter; nevertheless, the loss often draws after it that of 
the whole game/' The queen rq)lied, " I understand you ; 
Damley is but a pawn, but may well checkmate me, if he is 

After these words she left off playing, complained much of 
the disloyalty of Damley and his father, and inade evident her 
intentions of dealing, if it were possible, hostilely by them.^ 
The only means she had, however, of testifying her anger 
effectively, was by sending Margaret Countess of Lenox to 
her old quarters in the Tower.* 

Two, out of the four royal ladies, who stood in immediate 
proximity to the throne, were now incarcerated on frivoloas 
charges, and on the 21st of August, a third of this luddiess 
quartette. Lady Mary Gray, was added to the list of fair state 
prisoners, for no greater crime than stealing a love-match, like 
her sister. Lady Katharine. Cecil, in a letter to Sir Thomas 
^nith, relates the circumstance in the foUowii^ words : " Here 
is an unhappy chance and monstrous. The serjeant-porter 
being the biggest gentleman in this court, hath married secretly 
the Lady Mary Gray, the least of all the court They are 
committed to several prisons. The offence is very great."* 
Both the meek inoffensive sisters of Lady Jane Gray were 
thus torn from their husbands, and doomed to life-long im- 
prisonment by the inexorable queen. Their piteous appeals 
to her compassion may be seen in Ellis's royal letters. Can 
any one suppose that she would have scrupled to shed the 
blood of either or both of these broken-hearted victims, if 
their names had been used to excite an insurrectton in her 
metropolis ? 

In a foregoing passage of the letter, wherein Cecil relates 
the disgrace of Lady Mary Gray, he favours his absent col- 
league with the following important piece of secret information, 
which is partly written in cipher : — " You may perchance^ by 
some private letter hereafter, hear of a strange accident here, 
and therefore I will, in a few words, give you some light. 
The queen's majesty is fallen into some mishking with my Lord 
of Leicester, and he therewith much dismayed. You know 
how busy men in court will be to descant hereupon. The 
queen's majesty letteth it appear, in many overt speeches, that 
i^e is sorry for her loss of time, and so is every good subject"* 
In what other way can this s^itence be e3q)]ained than that 
Elizabeth, having quarrelled with her presumptuous favourite, 

1 Raumer, from the despatches of De Foys. 3 Camden, 

s Wright's Elisabeth and her Times, voL-L p. 907. « Ibid. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 211 

repented of the impediment which her flirtations with hfan had 
opposed in her matrimonial treaties with foreign princes? 

" What shall ibllow of this," pursues her anxious premier, '' God know- 
eth. For my part, I will do that becometh an honest man, not to procure 
harm to him, though I know he hath not lacked procnrers for my harm. 
Bat God forgii^e them ! for I fear notie of them, hormg so good a conscieDoe 
of my well meaning both to ber Majesty and her reaim. If I were as evil 
disposed as others, I could make a flame of this sparkel; hat/Lu tfoluntas 
Dtit The queen's majesty, thanked be God, is well disposed towards 
marriage, llie emperor's ambassador is departed with an honourable 
answer, and himself well satisfied, and common opinion s, that the Aich- 
duke Charles will come ; whidi if he do, and will accord with us in religion, 
and shall be allowable for his person to her Majesty, then, except God shall 
continue his displeasure s^ainst us, we shall see some success." 

In another letter to Smith, Cecil declares, "that the queen's 
majesty will marry with none without sight of his person, nor 
with any that shall dissent in religion; that the articles of 
marriage are to be much the same as in the treaty between 
Philip and Mary, and expresses his opinion that the archduke 
will come. He considers that the nobility approve of the 
match, and notices that my Lord of Leicester hath behaved 
himself very wisely to allow of it.* ^ The very day on which 
this letter is dated, August 3cth, the premier inscribed the 
following sentence in his private diary: — "The queen seemed 
to be very much offended with the Earl of Leicester, and so 
she wrote an obscure sentence in a book at Windsor." This 
oracular sentence was probably her Latin epigram, on the 
presumption of a bear presuming to cherish hopes of mating 
with the lion.* 

The quarrel between Leicester and his royal mistress, is, by 
some authors, supposed to have originated in the following 
incident, which is related by Sir Thomas Naunton, as an 
evidence that the influence of that nobleman was not so great 
as many have represented: — Bowyer, the gentleman of the 
black rod, having been expressly charged by the queen to be 
very particular as to whom he admitted into the privy chamber, 
one day prevented a very gay captain, and a follower of 
Leicester's, from entrance, because he was neither well known 
nor a sworn servant of the queen's ; on which the other, bear- 
ing high on his patron's favour, told him "that he might 

1 Wright's Elizabeth, voU i. p. ao8. 

S Amoog other impudent assumptions, Leicester and his parvenu brothers helped them- 
selves to Sie right noble cognizance of the Beauchamp- Nevilles, the bear and ragged 
staff, relinqoishmg their own cogniance— a green lion with two tails. This gave rise to 
a Warwickshixc proverb, in use at this day, " The bear wants a tail, and cannot be a 

Digitized by VjOOg IC 

212 Elizabeth 

perchance procure him a discharge.'' Leicester, coming to the 
contest, said publicly, which was contrary to his custom, " that 
Bowyer was a knave, and should not long continue in his 
office," and turned about to go to the queen ; but Bowyer, who 
was a bold gentleman, and well beloved, stepped before him, 
feU at her Majesty's feet, and related the story, humbly craving 
her Grace's pleasure, and whether my Lord of Leicester was 
king, or her Majesty queen ? On which the queen, turning to 
Leicester, exclaimed, with her wonted oath, " God's death, my 
lord 1 I have wished you well, but my favour is not so locked 
up in you that others shall not participate thereof, for I have 
many servants, unto whom I have and will, at my pleasure, 
confer my favour, and likewise reassume the same ; and if you 
think to rule here, I will take a course to see you forthcoming. 
I will have here but one mistress and no master, and look that 
no ill happen to him, lest it be severely required at your 
hands." " Which so quailed my Lord of Leicester," pursues 
Naunton, '* that his feigned humility was long after one of his 
best virtues." ^ Small, however, at the utmost were Leicester's 
claims to this rare quality. Lloyd observes of him, "His 
treasure was vast, his gains unaccountable, all passages to 
preferment being in his hand, at home and abroad. He was 
never reconciled to her Majesty under 5000/., nor to a subject 
under 500/., and was ever and anon out with both." 

Just at this period, Elizabeth lavished much regard on a 
royal female guest, the Lady Cecilia of Sweden, daughter to 
the great Gustavus Vasa, and sister to Elizabeth's former suitor, 
Eric. She and her husband, the Margrave of Baden, had 
recently encountered many perils and hardships during eleven 
months' wanderings in the northern parts of Germany. At 
length, they landed in England, and, four days after, the lady 
was delivered of a son. This child was, on the last day of 
September, christened in the chapel royal at Whitehall, the 
queen herself standing godmother in person, the godfathers 
being the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Duke of Norfolk. 
The queen gave the little stranger the name of Edward 
Fortunatus,* "for that God had so graciously assisted his 
mother in her long, dangerous journey, and that she regarded 
it as an auspicious circumstance that he was born in her 
realm." The queen took such great delight in the company 
and conversation of the Swedish princess, that when the 
margrave returned to his own dominions, she persuaded the 
Lady Cecilia to remain with her, and not only allowed her 

^ FragmenU Regalia. * Stowa. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 213 

very honourable bouche^ or table, at her court, three messes of 
meat twice a day for her maids and the rest of her/amily,^ but 
allowed her husband a pension of two thousand crowns a year 
as long as he would permit his consort to reside in her court. 
This lady was given the entrh of the queen's chamber, and 
enjoyed sufficient influence with Elizabeth to excite the 
jealousy of her watchful premier, Cecil, who, in a letter to Sir 
Thomas Smith, betra]^ some anxiety to discover the real 
object of her coming to England : — 

**Of the Lady Cecilia of Sweden," writes he, "your son can report how 
bountifully she liveth here ; of whom also there are sundry opinions ; some 
that she meant to set on foot her brother's former suit ot marriage, but 
perceiving that not to be found probable, some now say that she will further 
my Lord of Leicester ; but if she shall find no success there, then some 
will say as they list ; and thus, you see, all things are subject to reports." ' 

In the same letter, Cecil observes, " that there are rumours 
that the lords of the court do not agree among themselves, 
that Leicester was not so much in favour as heretofore, that 
Sussex and he were on strange terms, that the Duke of Norfolk, 
the Lord Chamberlain, and Lord Hunsdon were opposed to 
Leicester." * These three peers and Sussex, also, were the kins- 
men of the queen through her grandmother. Lady Elizabeth 
Howard. Mr. Heneage is also mentioned, by Cecil, "as re- 
ported to be in very good favour with her Majesty, and so 
misliked by my Lord of Leicester. To tell you truly," con- 
tinues the watchful premier, " I think the queen's favour to my 
Lord of Leicester is not so manifest to move men to think 
that she will marry with him, and yet his lordship hath favour 
sufficient, as I hear him say, to his good satisfaction." * This 
letter is dated October i6th. A few days later, the queen 
manifested an increase of regard for Leicester, such as made 
his enemies hasten to effect a reconciliation with him.* He 
received their advances in a conciliatory manner, and took a 
more subtle revenge on Cecil than if he had exerted his 
renewed influence to effect his fall by honouring him with a 
provoking offer of his patronage, in a tone that could not fail 
to recal to the mind of the man who ruled the destinies of 
Protestant Europe, and feared not to controvert and bend to 
his own policy the declared will of the Kon-like sovereign 
herself, the time when he was an underling official in the train 
of his own parvenu father, the Duke of Northumberland. 

1 Lodge's Illnstntioiu. * Wright. voL L p. aiz. 

4 Wrigh?* Eliatbeth and her Times. 

S Ibid. p. 99. 

» De Foys' Despatches. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

214 Elizabeth 

"I hove long known your good qualities," said Ldoester, 
"your conscientiousness, and knowledge of business* I have, 
on these accounts, always loved you, although I know that you 
would £Eun marry the queen to a foreign prince. I will now tell 
you ];daiQly that I am a claimant for the hand of the queen, 
and it seems to me that she looks upon no one with favour bat 
myself. 1 therefore beseech you that you will lay aside all 
odier projects, and then I will always give you my hand, and 
not only keep you where you are, but take care for your further 
elevation as you deserve, and as the service of the state may 
require." ^ Cecil had sufficient command over his feelings to 
thank the favourite for his good opinion and apparent good will. 

During the period of Elizabeth's transient coolness to 
Leicester, he had manifested some degree of sullenness, and it 
is supposed, that he testified his resentment by soliciting to be 
sent on a diplomatic mission to France. When De Foys, 
through whom Leicester had chosen to prefer his request, 
mentioned it to the queen, she was surprised and offended that 
the earl should wish to absent himself. She caused him to be 
summoned to her presence, and asked him, if he really wished 
to go to France? On his replying, "that, with her permission, 
it was one of the things he most desired,'' she told him, *5that 
it would be no great honour to the King of France were she to 
send a groom to so great a prince ; " and then she laughingly 
observed to the ambassador, " I cannot live without seeing him 
every day ; he is like my lap-dog, so soon as he is seen any- 
where, they say I am at hand ; and wherever I am seen, it may 
be said, that he is there also." 

Elizabeth had formerly condescended to discuss with Quadra, 
the Spanish ambassador, the scandalous reports then prevalent, 
not only on the continent, but in her own court, regarding her 
intimacy with Dudley. She even forgot the dignity of a gentle- 
woman and a sovereign so far, as to demonstrate the improba- 
"bility of what was said, by shewing him the situation of her 
sleej)ing apartment and that of the favourite. Subsequently, 
however, she found that her favourite's health was likely to be 
impaired by the dampness of the room he occupied in the 
lower story of the palace, and assigned him a clmmber con- 
tiguous to her own.^ 

1 De Toys, from Raumer. 

3 Sharon Tiimer considers diis mau ga ni ent was a prudential snasistire, tor tlie'defenc* 
of the royal person against the attempts of those, who sought her Majesty's life. No at- 
tempts of the kind, however, are on recMd, till alter she excited •the i>l*«mU of a portion of 
her subjects kQT hw aqjost «Ulw»tian«£M«7 Stuartj and her unfemiiune cnielty to that 

Digitized by VjOOg IC 

Elizabeth 215 

De Foys, in his xeport of the 19th of December, says, 
** Leicester has pressed the queen hard to decide by. Christmas 
on her marriage. She, on the other hand, has entreated him 
to wait till Candkznlis. I kxu>w, from good authority,'* pursues 
he, " and have also learned from the most credible persons, that 
she has promised him marriage before witnesses. Nevertheless, 
if she chooses to release herself from such promise, no one 
will summon her to justice, or bear witness against her." ^ 

At Qiristmas, Leicester was in close attendance on the queen, 
even while she was in the solemn act of communicating at the 
altar, and was one of her assistants in that holy rite. The 
cerem<Miial8 observed on that occasion have been thus recorded 
by a contemporary,^ and are highly curious : — 

*^ On Christmas Day her Majesty came to service, very richly 
appaf^ed in a gown of purple velvet, embroidered with silver, 
very richly set with stones, and a rich collar set with stones;* 
The Earl of Wanrick {Leicester's brother) bore the sword, the 
Lady Stnuoge (the daughter of the que^s cousii^ Lady Elean<» 
Brandon) bore h^ train. After the creed, the queen went down 
to the offering, and having a short bench with a carpet and a 
cushion laid by a gentleman usher, her Majesty kneeled down. 
Her ofiering was giv^i her by the Marquis of Northampton ; after 
which she went into her traverse, where she abode till the time 
of the communion, and then came forth and kneeled down on 
the cushion and carpet The gentlem^i ushers delivered the 
towd {or communion cloth) to the Lord Chamberlain, who 
delivered the same to be holden by the Earl of Sussex on her 
ri^t hand, and the Earl of Leicestier on the left.' The Bishop 
of Rochester served her Majesty both with the wine and bread. 
Then the queen went into the tzaverse again, and the Lady 
Cecilia, wife to the Marquis of Bad^i. came out of the ^averse, 
and kneeled at the place where the queen had kneeled, but she 
had no cushion, only one to kneel on. After she had received, 
she returned to the traverse again. Then the Archbishop of 
Canterbury and the Lord Chamberlain received the ccnnmunion 
wit^ the mother of the maids, after which the senrice proceeded 
to die end The queen returned to the chamber of presence^^ 
and not to the closet Her Majesty dined not abroad." 

Eliaabetih was fond of jesting, and now and then perpetrated 
a pun. This year she sent Man, Dean of Gloucester, as 
ambassador to Philip of Spain, whose envoy at the English 

S X^Muttion M& 4ftia, No. 8, Kb. Wo Y. i9S> ^n<«sh Museaa. 

S This doth «a»4o be held «sbefotf«tke<i«ieeo't fact tli« Bomant she had received tht 
eloftciiti; k\mB a c««uuwt of (htt Catholic oereaooial 

Digitized by VjOOQ iC 

2i6 Elizabeth 

court was Gusman, Dean of Toledo. Elizabeth thought meanly 
of the person and abilities of Dean Man, and this opinion gave 
rise to a very bad pun by her Majesty. She said, " King Philip 
had sent Gooseman (Gusman) to her, and she, in return, had 
sent a Man to him not a whit better than a goosed She 
also made the following quaint rhyming rebus on a gentleman 
of the name of Noel : — 

** The word of denial and letter of fifty 
Is that gentleman's name that will never be thrifty," i 

A few of the less pleasing traits of Elizabeth's character 
developed themselves this year, among which may be reckoned 
her unkind treatment of the venerable Dr. Heath, the nonjuring 
Archbishop of York, and formerly Lord Chancellor. It has 
been shewn, that he performed good and loyal service for 
Elizabeth, whose doubtftil title was established beyond dispute 
by his making her first proclamation a solemn act of both 
houses of parliament. Subsequently, in 1 560, he was ordered 
into confinement in the Tower, because he would not acknow- 
ledge Elizabeth's supremacy over the Church. He remained 
there till he was sent into a sort of prison restraint at one of 
the houses belonging to his see in Yorkshire. His mode of 
imprisonment permitted him to take walks for exercise. These 
rambles could not have been very far, for he was turned of 
eighty. They were regarded with jealousy, and the following 
order of council exists, in answer to a letter from Lord Scrope, 
relative to the examination by him to be taken of Nicholas 
Heath, with whom his lordship is required to proceed some- 
what sharply withal, " to the end, that he should declare the 
full truth why he wandereth abroad ; and if he will not be 
plain, to use some kind of torture to him, so as to be without 
any great bodily hurt, and to advertise his (Xord Scrope's) 
doings herein."* 

The old man had been on terms of friendship with the 
queen, had done her worthy service, he had been considered 
an opponent of persecution, yet could Elizabeth, then little 
turned of thirty, sit in her conclave, and order the unfortunate 
prisoner to be pinched with the torture, to reveal some vague 
and indefinite crime, which perhaps only existed in the sus- 
picions of his enemies. 

1 Collins, in Gainsborough. 

edited by the late Mr. Howard of Corby, in his Supplement to the Howaod Memorials. 

Digitized by VjO». 

Elizabeth 217 

Elizabeth had ordered her ministers at the court of Edin- 
burgh, Throckmorton and Randolph, to foment the disaflfec- 
tions there, and especially to encourage Murray and his party, 
in their opposition to the marriage of Mary with Damley ; in 
consequence of which, they at length took up arms against 
their sovereign. They were defeated, and forced to retreat 
into England. Miuray proceeded to London, and requested 
an interview with the queen ; considering, doubtless, that he 
had a claim to her favour and protection, Imving acted in secret 
understanding with her ministers. 

The queen, however, refused at first to see him, or any of. 
the confederates. Murray complained to Cecil, and others, 
" that he had been moved to .what he had done by the instiga- 
tion of Queen Elizabeth^ whereby he had lost all in Scotland." 
Elizabeth caused it to be represented to him, that this was very 
displeasing to her, and that she would only see him and his 
friends on condition of their exonerating her from any share in 
the plot against his own government When they had received 
their lesson, they were admitted to an audience, in the presence 
of the French and Spanish ambassadors, and falling on their 
knees, they declared, that " the queen was innocent of the con- 
spiracy, and had never advised them to disobey their sovereign 

"Now," replied Elizabeth, "ye have spoken truth. Get 
from my presence ; traitors, as ye are."^ Thus did she outwit, 
and trample on her own abased instruments. However, she 
gave Murray a pension, secretly. Throckmorton was so uxdig- 
nant at her attempting to treat his intrigues with the unsuc- 
cessful Scottish rebels, as if unauthorized by herself, that he 
exposed the secret orders on which he had acted ; which was 
never forgiven by Elizabeth and Leicester, although he had 
been, as the reader has seen, one of the oldest and most trusty 
of the friends of her youth. To those she was, generally 
speaking, attached and grateful. Sir James Crofts she pro- 
moted very highly in his military capacity, and after the death 
of Sir Thomas Parry, made him comptroller of her household. 
Saintlow, the captain of the yeomen of her guard, who was 
confined in the Tower at the same time with herself, on sus- 
picion of being a confederate in the plots against Queen Mary, 
continued in her household after her accession to the throne. 
She was not always very gracious to liim ; but condescended, 
nevertheless, to obtain from him a horse, for which she only 
paid him with fair words. This is his account of the matter in 

1 Keith. Chalinen. lingaid. Melville. 

Digitized by VjOOg IC 

2p8 Elizabeth 

a letter he wro©6' to his: wife !^ "The queens yegtewJary, ler 
own' self riding^ upon' the nof craved my hoise, tuito wbanL I 
gave him, receiving Gpcrrly many goodly woicb*** EHiaabetb 
quarreliedf with him t^ke n@xt time they met; aiit vhicfo he Jkus 
rektes^^ to Ms bstter half: "The queen fbunti great fault with 
mykmg absence, saying, 'tihat she would talk with nser further, 
Mid that she meant to ehide me.' I answered, 'that whien 
her Highness understood the tral^ anid causey she wtniijdi not 
be offewdted.' To which- sllre saiidi^ 'Ve^y wd^ Tcsy weH/ 
Howbeit, hand of hers I did not kks." 
. This yeai* Elizabeth hairing appointed ^vp Henry Sidaey to 
the government of Ireland, addressed to hi«v tliuit fallowing 
sapient, b^t pedantic letter, on the occasion of the fend 
between* the Earls of Desmond aisid Oktaond^ in which she 
prescribes the part, he is to^ take, m a series of quasnt fmhsmg 
aphorisms, not alN^ays aprop9S' te» ifhe sub^t; and cather 
remindifig us, of wfeat Lord Byi^n called ** hints, and howi^ 
by way dP an e^atiow." 


** If OUT partial, slender managmg of the contentious quarrel betweea 
the two Irish rebels, did not make the way ta cause these Hnes to- pass my 
haad, this'gi'b^rish should hardly hanrt eombcred your eyes ; b&t warned 
by my former faults, and dreading worser hap to come, I rede (advise) youi 
takegood keed. * ♦ ♦ * Make some diflference between tried, Just, 
and ^Ise friends. Let the good service of well deservers, Be never rewarded 
with loss. Let their thanks be such, as may encourage more stwrers for 
the like. SuiTer not t^aC D'esm^imd'^ ilanriiig dbedb, fax widte faa^ promiaetf 
wotJUv medce youi toust to other pfedg&tlkaii hims^lfj or Jroho, for eagje. He 
haiksa.weH performed his- English vows, that I warn you, trust him. na 
farther than you see one of them.. Prometheus Tet me be ;, and Prometheus 
hath been, mine, too long. I pray God your old straying sheep, Tate ay 
you say, letumed into fold, wore not her Woolly gorMCttit ttpoa^ her wo^ 
bacld. You know » kingdom^ kncwft no kabdred^ Si vmkmdumjus rtgwrn 
dt ctmxt* A. strengths to harm, is perilous in the haodofao: ambitious head. 
Where might is mixed with wit, thtsre is too good an- accord in a govern- 
ment. Essays be oft dangerous, specialty where ttte ctrto bearer hatftr 
received' such a preservative, a» whatsoever betide thtt drnmer's dtetughC, 
the earriev takes no paixv tibswliyk Believe not, tei^h thej? vwecr that 
tltafr C9^ ^ &11 stound, wh966 par,eiiit0 soi^^ht the ruk that theji /iiil. 
^aiflr wQuid have«v I warrant you, they will never Ibe accused of bastardy r 
they win trace the steps that others have trod before. If I had not espied; 
though ve?y Jate, legenkmain used- in these caseSj I hlid never pfeiyea my 
put No, if I dUr not see the hilances hiM awKfy £ hsd aewr vqedf 
come idSo Ihe wejg^-bouAe. I hof e- 1 shall havte so good cummer of mi, 
that aJI under officers ahall dxt their duty among you. If aught have Deen 
amiss at home, I will patch, tjibugh I cannot wnoTe it. Let us not, nor 

1 Aflet SainttMir'it doatht his wi^ commcnihf called Bcs» ofi K*r4Widi, naniedt tb* 
Earl of Shrewsbury, and obtained infamous celebrity as the treacherous castelUme or 
Mary Queen of Scots. • Sm Iiodge's. iUutratioiub 

Digitized by VjOOglC 

Elizabeth &19 

do yoa eansnit so long, ifiHUt adribe come too late. Wbere^v tibesi, shaH wcr 
wish tbe. cbed% while all wa9 ^ent in wiords. A. laol- too iMe bewores^ 
when all the peril is past* If we still advise, we shall never do, yea» and 
if our web be framed witR rottten handles, when out loom is welt nigh 
done, our work is new to begin. God send tfee weaver trtie pr«itfce» 
i^jbui^ aa± tet tela be^ deniasBS. ];pny yoow tf tfaey be not dtiKOi; and 
sadk too aa your aaoieBts^addeanan, that have, or now dwcU in fova official 
place, ha^ve had best cause to commend their good behaviour. Let this 
memorial be only committed to Vulcan's base keeping, without any longer 
abode ftan the leisure of the reading thereof ;• yea, f«d Ma mcntioB' mndtr 
theteoi to Any other w^^ I charge' yiHi, »> 1 nocy osniBaiid yDu^ seen 
not to have hMdt bait secoctaries' letters fieia ne!. 

" Youx loving maisireSf 

•*EtlZABETH R."* 

Early ill' iht new yeaof anived. R«wbouillet, an envoy- 
cjctraerdinary from Chaflcs* IX., to invest any two ©f \i!P 
Majesty's great nobles, whom it mi^t pfease her to pmnt owl, 
with tf>^ insignia of St. Miefeafel^ the national order of France, , 
vrtiicb had never been bestowed cm- 2avf Engfish subject, save 
Charles Brandon, Duke of Snfiblit. Elizabeth named hier kins- 
maw, the Duke of Norfolk, who then held* a dfetingtiished place 
m her fevo«r, and the Eari of Leieester.* It had^ oceasionei^ 
gpeaflB wonder, m the first year of her reign, t^en this^nobletnsn 
wafr chosen as one of tfte Knights of the Garter ; b«t so many 
honours and privileges had smee been conferred on him, 
that this was regarded as a matter of course ; and every one 
expected that his next' prefennent would be to* the t:rown- 
raa<!rimonial of Enghmd. Elizabeth* had promised to give him 
a decided answer at Candlemas ; but when that time came, 
she still hesitated*. Cecil had bided hiis time ; and when be 
found her dabioas', he* suggested six important objections to 
the raarrTage.* rst Leicester could ^ng neither riches, 
power, nor estimafPion. 2nd. Re was deeply involved in debt, 
notwithstanding all that had been kvished upon him. jfd. 
He was surrounded by needy and rapacious dependents who 
wocfld engross all the favour, and aK the pgrtronage of the 
Crown. 4th. He was so violent and mutaUe in hia pamons; 
one (fey so jealous, and another so mdifferent, that the queen 
could not expect to live happily with him. 5th. He waa 
mfamed', by the death of his wife-; and, 6%li'. His- mapriage with 
his" sovereign^ would be taken as a confirmation of all th« 
scandalous reports that had been, so long and coofidtendlf 
circuited, both at home and' abi?oad.* 

The wedded misery of the Queen of Scots, and the ifagratif- 

1 Sidney Papers. ■ Stowe. 

• Von Kaumer. X.iiigaid. * Haynes. 

tized by Google 

220 Elizabeth 

fcude, ambition, and misconduct of Damley, probably operated 
as a warning to the wary Elizabeth, of the danger she might 
encounter if she married a subject ; and, above all, she knew 
Leicester too well to trust him. 

The state of excitement in the court and the scandalous 
reports that were in circulation, may be gathered from the 
careful manner in which the cautious premier guards his col- 
league at the court of France, Sir Thomas Smith, from giving 
credit to the gossip that may have been collected by the 
servant, whom he had lately sent to England with his letters. 

" Of my Lord of Leicester's absence," writes he, ** and of his 
return to favour, if your man tell you tales of the court or 
city, they be fond (foolish), and many untrue. Briefly, I affirm, 
that the queen's majesty may be by malicious tongues not well 
reported; but in truth she herself is blameless, and hath no 
spot of evil intent. Marry, there may lack specially in so busy 
a world, circumspections to avoid all occasions"^ — of giving 
room for invidious observations — Cecil might have added, had 
he closed the sentence ; but he evidently refers with some 
armoyance to the levity of carriage in his royal mistress, which 
rendered it necessary for him to render serious testimony to 
her ambassador in a foreign court, that however her repu- 
tation might have suffered, she was herself innocent of actual 

Cecirs letter is dated the 26th of March, 1566, and at that 
time he appears seriously anxious to promote Elizabeth's mar- 
riage with the archduke, if only to put an end to the disrepu- 
table flirtation, which was still going on, with, the man whom 
she probably loved, but was too proud, too cautious to marry. 

"The matter of Charles," pursues the premier, "is of her 
surely minded ; but the progress therein hath many lets. My 
Lord of Norfolk hath shewed himself a very noble man, and 

Norfolk was an earnest advocate of the Austrian marriage ; 
and his disdain of Leicester was never forgiven by the favourite. 
The rest of the nobility were also anxious for the alliance with 

" God direct the queen's marriage in some place," concludes 
Cecil, " for otherwise her regiment will prove very troublesome 
and unquiet" By the expression, her regimenty the premier 
seems to imply her rule, or guidance ; but whether the trouble 
he anticipates would be to himself, in managing his sovereign, 
or to herself in ruling her aspiring lord, is not quite so clear. 

1 Wright, voL L 885 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 221 

Where crowns and Sovereigns are at stake, the game must 
needs be delicately played, by those who hope to win; but 
Leicester's egotism led him to fdrget the respect due to his 
royal mistress, so far as to unbosom himself without reserve to 
the new Fr^ich ambassador, La For^t, who, on the 6th of 
August, 1566, communicated the following particulars to his 
own coiurt : " The earl has admitted to me, laughing and sigh- 
ing at the same time, ' that he knows not what to hope or fear, 
that he is more uncertain than ever whether the queen wishes 
to marry him or not ; that she has so many, and great princes 
suitors, that he knows not what to do, or what to think.' Subse- 
quently he has said, ' I believe not in truth that the queen will 
ever marry. I have known her, from her eighth year, better 
than any man upon earth. From that date she has invariably 
declared that she would remain unmarried. Should she, how- 
ever, alter that determination, I am all but convinced she 
would choose no other than mjrself. At least, the queen has 
done me the honour to say as much to me, and I am as much 
in her favour as ever.' " ^ 

While these doubts and fears, hopes and misgivings, on 
the subject of love and matrimony were agitating the mighty 
Elizabeth, her ambitious favourite, her anxious premier, and 
jealous kinsman, — Mary Stuart, on the 19th of June, had given 
birth to a son, who was one day to unite the Britannic Isles 
in one peaceful and glorious empire. Sir James Melville 
was despatched in all haste to announce this joyful event to 

The court were then at Greenwich ; and Cecil hastening to 
the royal presence before Melville was admitted, approached 
her.Majes^, who was dancing merrily in the hall after supper, 
and wlmpered the news in her ear. The mirth and music 
ceased; for all present were startled at the sudden change 
which came over the queen, who, unable to conceal her vexa- 
tion, sat down leaning her head on her handj and then burst 
out to some of her ladies, who anxiously inquired what ailed 
her Grace — " The Queen of Scots is lighter of a fair son ; and 
I am but a barren stock I " ^ This extraordinary lamentation for 
a maiden queen was duly reported to Melville; when he came 
next morning to his official audience, his spies and friends told 
him, withal, that the queen had been earnestly counselled to 
conceal her chagrin, and " shew a glad countenance." How- 
ever, she rather overacted her part, if Melville bears true wit- 
ness, since, at his introduction, he says, "She welcomed me 

1 Dep^ches de la For£t. ^ Kelvtlle's MemoirS| pp. 158-9. 

2^2 Eliza£^e!tli 

caper .«]( tfae ^ight «£ him. "She 'then, thanked me for the 
despatch I had nsed, and told me ^ the news 1 bsoi:^tet had 
fecovei^ ^ker lEom a heavy sickness, i^hacb had hedd' her 
jEfteen days 4 ' AU /this she said and )dad, JDefof e I delivered my 
ietter of trredenoe. I Aold her, when she had vead k, ' iAiat iny 
^ueen knew of all her friends, her Ma)B8t^im»iidl)e the gladdest 
of the news, albeit her aon was dear bought vnJ&k ^eril of her 
jile;' addiiag, 'that she was so sair handled in the meantime, 
:thatshe tiaissef ^e had never maoried.' This I said to give 
the English queen a little scare of macrymg; she dDoai^d 8onoe- 
itimes that she was on due x>oint of marrying the Archduke 
Chaiies, whenever she was $)ressed to name the second ^csom, 
nor heir to the English crown. Then I Eeqnoested iaer Majesty 
Jb& be « .gossip to our qneem ; for omnmers, Aor igodmotihecs, ^ate 
called gossips in Eng&and. This idie gcsnted ^Uully. Then, I 
:&aid, her Ma^sty would have a fair occasion to see cpor queen, 
which «he hfid «o oft idesined. M this she smiled,, and «aid, 
' she wished that her estate and affairs might permit faer/ and 
psoQMsed td fleBkd honoocaUe 4ord& and ladies to supiply her 
place." ^ She sent the Earl 'of Bedford as her vepresentative to 
icoBgm&ulate the queen, and to present her npiendid chtistening 
^^ a foiftt of gold woith looo/,, which she expn»sed 'some ifieair 
that the little prkice might .haiyte orrergrown. " If you find lit 
sO|" sajd she, ** you may obsefvethat our good sister has 4)nly 
to keep it fof the neiot, or some aieh. merry taUc^' Elizabeth 
appointed Mary's illegitimate sister, the beautiful Countess of 
Argyle, to act as her proxy at dve ba^itism of the heir of 
Sootlandj which wias p^^zraed aocoifdiog to the xites 0f the 
Chuidi of . Rome. The royal mfiEml reoeiTed the name xtf 
Charles James^ though he leigned under tfaaut of Janvcs alone. 

Elisabeth was the principal cause of ttdfternifoitanBite hoshand 
of Mary not being present at the baptism of his. nsyal infant, 
tbeoauae she bad positireliy eojoioed iter amhassadRia! to ^efose 
to acknowledge fhis cenvendonal Ikle of King" of Sootiand. 

This aummer the feuds betiween iSussextand Leicester ixan so 
hi^^ on the subject of her Majest/s raacnbge, that neither of 
tiMMo. vembured abroad withouit a retimie of armed foUdnwrs. 
Sas9e3i^ whose maather wias a Howard^ was the kinsman of the 
t|ueer^ and this high sense of hoaiDur drendered him jealous of 
fike construction that. was placed oa dsei! lindmaoy with ker 
master of the hors^ cdmbuned widi her rehictance to marry. 
He was urgent with her to espouse the Archduke Ciuuifes, cad 

3 MaiviUe's Memoiri. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 223 

•with 'him weve banded ail of the Homsrd Imeoge and ImA 
HuBsdon, her anateamal relattnnes. Cecil, her pi^mieoc, meat 
twkh 3them as far as bis cantioos imtiiie -would penmit. in June 
there was nn sttefiopt to isha^e his csedit witAi ithe qojeea, and 
be iias. noted briefiy, and irithovt ^comment, the foilQwing 
iDoideitks in his diary: — 

'^ June, 7566, FotehaiHty A fool, "was suborned to speak slash 
devousdj of mea^t Gremivwichlio the 'queen^s majesty^ for nrhich 
be was committed :to EdidewdL'' 

** s6tb, a >di8covd betweaa the Earls of Leicester and Sussex 
at Greenwich, there appeased by her Majesty." 

" 2xst, Accord between t!he Ear!s df Sussex and Leicester 
before her Majesty -at Greenwich.'' 

They were seconciled aCter ^he fashion of persans. who are 
reluctantly boimd over to keep the peace, for their hatred was 
deadly and unquenchable. The queen went *oon after in pro- 
gress into Northamptonshire and ^o Woodstock. On the 31st 
of August she paid a lon^-puoinised visit to the University of 
Oxford, of which Leicester had been elected chancellor. She 
was received at Walvicote bf the Earl elf Leicester, and a 
deputation of doctors and heads of coBe^s in their scarlet 
gowns and hoods. The staffs of die superior beadles were 
delivered to her by the chancellor and restored again. Mr. 
Roger Marbeck, the orator of the university, made an 
elegant speech to her Majesty, who ^as graciously pleased to 
offer her hand to be kissed by the orator and doctors. When 
Dr. Humphreys, the leader of the Puiitan party, drew near, in 
his turn, to p^orm that hoiis^ge to his liege lady, she said to 
him, with a smile, " Mr. Doi^gc, that loose gown becomes you 
well, I wonder your notions shotild be so narrow," ^ 

About a mile from the town, her UiSLajesty was met and wel- 
comed by the mayor and corporaJtion. The mayor surrendered 
his mace into her hands, which she returned, and he presented 
to her, in the name of the city, a cup of ^Iver, double gilt, in 
which was forty pounds in old :gpld; She entered at the north 
gate, called Brocardo, from w^ich place to Christ Church Hall, 
the university was ranged in order, according to their degrees, 
and each order presented Her Majesty with Latin verses and 
orations. The sdM^ats, kneeiling as she passed, cried ** Vivat 
regina^*' and she, with joyful Countenance, responded " Gratius 
ego" When she came ^to Carfax, an oration was made to her 
in Greek, by Mr. Lawrence, to ^vvhich she made a suitable 
reply, in the same language. JV canopy was borne over her, by 

> HkL wnd Antiq. Oxqq. lib. L 287. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

224 Elizabeth 

four senior doctors, as she entered the church. On the second 
of September her Majesty heard the iirst half of an English 
play, called Palamon and Arcite,^ " which had such tragical 
success," observes old Stowe, " as was lamentable, three persons 
being killed by the fall of a wall and part of the stairjcase, on 
account of the over-pressure of the crowd, which the queen 
understanding, was much concerned, and sent her own surgeon 
to help those, who were now past remedy. On the fourth of 
September the queen heard the remainder of Palamon and 
Arcite,2 to her great content, in the common hall of Christ's 

1 Neal's visit of Queen Elizabeth to Oxford, MS. Harl. 7033, C 139. 

S The author of this admired play was Richard Edwards, master of the children of her 
Majesty's chapel royal. He had previously written the tragedy of Damon and Pjthias. 
His verses were much esteemed in the court, and the following complimentary description 
of eight of Elizabeth's maids of honour can scarcely be unacceptable to the reader :— 

" Howard is not haug^hty. 
But of such smiling cheer, 
That would allure each gentle heart 
Her love to hold full dear. 

" Dacres is not dangerous. 
Her talk is nothing coy. 
Her noble stature may compare 
With Hector's wife of Troy. 


" Baynam is as beautiful 
As nature can devise ; 
Steadfastness possess her heart, 
And chastity her eyes. 


" Arundel is ancient 

In these her tender years, 
In heart, in voice, in talk, in deeds— 
A matron wise appean. 


** Dormer is a darling. 
Of such a lively hue. 
That whoso feeds his eyes on her 
May soon her beauty rue. 


" Coke is comely, and thereto 
In books sets all her care, 
In learning, with the Roman dames 
Of right she may compare. 


.• *' Bridges is a blessed wigbt, 

And pfayeth with heart and voice, 
Which from her cradle hath been taught^ - 
In virtue to rejoice* 

, - , VIII. 

** These eight now serve one noble queen ; 
But if power were in me. 
For beauty's praise, and virtue's sake. 
Each one a queen should be." 

Harringtofis Nuga Antique 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 225 

College. When it was ended, she, who well knew the art of 
pleasing, and rarely omitted those gracious courtesies which 
cost a sovereign nothing, but are precious, beyond description, 
to those to whom they are vouchsafed, sent for the author, and 
gave him thanks for the pleasure she had received, with pro- 
mises of reward, and before her whole court condescended 
thus to prattle to him of the characters which had afforded her 
two nights' entertainment in the hall. " By Palamon,"said her 
Majesty, ** I warrant he dallied not in love, being in love 
indeed. By Arcite, he was a right martial knight, having a 
swart countenance and a manly face. By Trecotio, God's pity, 
what a knave it is I By Pirithous, his throwing St. Edward's 
rich cloak into the funeral fire, which a stander by would have 
stayed by the arm with an oath." ^ This circumstance appears 
to have amused Elizabeth exceedingly, for it seems, that the 
youthful part of the audience, being new to the excitement of 
dramatic entertainments, took some of the most lively incidents 
in the play for reality, without pausing to reflect on the 
absurdity of a pagan knight, of the court of Theseus, being 
in possession of the cloak of the royal Anglo-Saxon saint. It 
is, however, certain, that the fair Emilia, whose part was 
enacted by a handsome boy of fourteen, appeared on that 
occasion, not only in the costume, but the veritable array of 
the recently defunct Majesty of England, Queen Mary, as we 
find from the following item in one of the wardrobe books of 
Queen Elizabeth : " There was occupied and worn at Oxford, 
in a play before her Majesty, certain of the apparel that was 
late Queen Mary's; at what time there was lost one fore- 
quarter of a gown without sleeves, of purple velvet, with satin 
ground," &c.* 

Notwithstanding the abstraction of so important a portion of 
the royal gaberdine of her sister and predecessor, with which 
the roguish representative of the Athenian princess, had doubt- 
less guerdoned himself, for his trouble. Queen Elizabeth, in 
token of her approbation of his performance, gave him eight 
pounds in gold. In the same play was introduced the cry of 
hounds on the train of a fox, in Theseus' hunting party, which 
being imitated with good effect, not on the stage, but the quad- 
rangle of the college, the young scholars standing in the 
windows were so greatly excited, that they cried out, " There, 
there 1 he's caught, he's caught 1 " 

1 Anthony A Wood. Warton. Nichols. 

3 The hi^Ijsr curious MS. from which this &ct is derived is in the valuable collection of 
my learned ihend, Sir Thomas PhillippSj Bartj of Middlehill. ^^ . 

Digitized by VjOOglC 

226 Elizabeth 

" Oh, excellent 1 " cried the queen, merrily, from her box. 
" These boys in very troth ace ready to leap out of the windows 
to follow the hounds." ^ 

On the iifth. of September were disputatio^is in physic and 
divinity, in St Mar/s Church, from two o'clock till seTqjn, before 
the queen, at which time Dc Westphaling prolonged his oxation 
to so unreasonable a length, that her Majesty, who intended 
herself to speak in the evening, sent word to him, " to make an 
end of his discourse without delay." ^ The doctor, having pos- 
session of the public eax, paid no heed to the royal mandate, 
but held forth for half an hour more, to the infinite indig- 
nation of the queen, who was not only especially bored 
by his interminable prosing, but prevented from making the 
learned display she had herself meditated, having been 
earnestly solicited to speak, by the Spanish ambassador, who 
was present, which she had promised to do wlieci the dis- 
putations were over. It was so late before Dr. Westphaling 
concluded his harangue that her Majesty was compelled to put 
oif her own speech till the next morning. She sent 9n aagry 
message to Westphaling, inquiring, " how he durst presume to 
go on with his discourse to so unreasonable a length, after she 
had sent her commands for him to bring it briefly to a close ? " 
The learned doctor replied, with great humility, thai h&ving 
committed it all to memory, he found it impossible to omit 
any part in order to shorten it, lest he should put hinaaelf so 
entirely out of cue that he should forget all the rest, and so be 
brought to shame before the university and court Her Majesty 
laughed heartily, when she understood the parrot-like manner 
in which the poor doctor had learned his theme, so that be 
feared to leave out one sentence, for fear of forgetting the rest. 

On the following morning, sdie made her own oration, in 
Latin, before the whole university, " to the great comfort and 
delectation of them all ; '' but in the midst of it, observing her 
Secretary of State, Cecil, standing on his lame feet, she broke 
ofi^ by ordering one of her attendants to bring him a stool, and 
when she had seen him conveniently seated, she resumed her 
oration, and went on to the end as fluently as if she had not 
interrupted herself. This, it is suj^osed, she intended as a 
hint to Westphaling on her superior powers of eloquence and 

Her Majesty was feasted, eulogized, and witertained at 
Oxford for seven successive days. On the last, the commissary 

1 Antk. A Wood. Alfa. Ox., vol. L p. a88. Nichols* Prooresses. 
' sir John Rarrin^oa'a Nuge Aiiii(|iuB. ' Ibid. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 227 

and proctors pcesoitsd her Majesty, in the name of the whole 
universitf, with six pair of Yeary fine gloves, and to the nobles 
and officers of her household, some two pair, and others one, 
which were thankfully accepted. After dinner, a farewell 
oratiaa was addressed to her Majesty in Christ Church, and 
the Tery walls of Oxfocd were papered with verses in honour of 
her visit. She was conducted, by the mayor, aldermen, and 
heads of colfeges, as &r as Shotiva: HiU, where the Earl of 
Leicester iniormed her their jurisdiction ended, and Mr. Roger 
Marbeck made a 6nal oration to her Majesty, on the glories to 
which learning was likely to arrive under so erudite a sovereign. 
Elizabeth listened with pleasure, cetumed a gracious answer 
and lookii^ back on Oxford with all possible marks of tender- 
ness and aifection, bade them farewelL^ 

From Oxford she proceeded to Kicote^ the seat of Sir Henry 
Noids, and then returned to London, to await the opening €^ 
the parliament, which, after six lengthened prorogations, ^le 
had reluctantly summoned to meet for the purpose of reidenish- 
ing her empty exchequer. 

The birth of a son to the Queen of Scots had strengthened 
the party of those who were desirous of seeing the succession 
settled on the hereditary dnumants who would ultimately unite 
the crowns of England and Scotland in peace and prosperity. 
On the other hand, the Protestant community, dreading a 
renewal of persecution if the soeptre passed into the hands of a 
Catholic sovereign, desired the marriage of Elizabeth, in the 
hope of continuing under monatrchs of her own immediate 

W^n the parliament met, both parties imited in addressing 
her Majesty on the two subjects most distasteful to her — her 
marriage and the settlement of the royal succession. She heard 
theisk with fierce impajdence, and, like a true daughter of 
Henry VIIL, bade them " attend to their own duties, and she 
would perform hers." They were of a different spirit from the 
men, who had crouched to her father's bad passions and ill 
manners, for diey exea-ted the independence of die national 
senate by refusing to grant the supplies,, on the grounds thai: 
her Majesty had not performed the conditions, on which the 
last were given, and passed a vote that nothing of the kind 
should be done, till she thought proper to accede to the wish» 
of the nation, by settling the succession.^ 

A deputation of twenty peers addressed the queen on the 

1 Hist, and Antiquities Acad. Oxon. Anth. A Wood. Holinshed. Nichols. 
■ D'Ewes' Joarnals, xa. r^ i 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

228 Elizabeth 

evils resulting from her silence. She answered, haughtily, " that 
she did not choose that her grave should be dug while she was 
yet alive; that the commons had acted like rebels, and had 
treated her as they durst not have treated her father." She 
added, with infinite scorn, " that the lords might pass a similar 
vote if they pleased, but their votes were but empty breath 
without her royal assent." She called them "hair-brained 
politicians, unfit to decide on such matters," and referred her- 
self to a committee of six grave and discreet councillors of her 
own choosing, "by whose advice," she said, "she intended to 
be guided." ^ 

This intemperate and despotic language did not suit the 
temper of the times, and was followed by tie first serious oppo- 
sition and censure of the conduct of the sovereign, that had 
been heard for centuries in the national senate. Leicester, pro- 
voked probably at the determination of the queen, not to risk 
bestowing a share in her power and privileges on a consort, 
took a leading power in this debate, which so offended her that 
she forbade him and the Earl of Pembroke her presence.* Party 
recriminations ran high on this subject ; Leicester had avenged 
the opposition of Cecil to his marriage with their sovereign, by 
causing it to be generally circulated, that the jealousy of the 
premier was the real obstacle, which deterred her Majesty, from 
fulfilling the wishes of her people, and great ill-wdl was ex- 
pressed to the minister on this account, and public curses were 
bestowed on Huick, the queen's physician, for having said 
something, in his professional character, which had detened her 
Majesty from matrimony. On the 27th of October, a general 
petition was addressed to her Majesty by both Houses of Par- 
liament, entreating her either to choose a consort or name a 
successor. Elizabeth assured them " that she had not bound 
herself by any vow of celibacy never to trade (as she termed it) 
in that kind of life called marriage." She acknowledged "that 
she thought it best for private women, but, as a prince, she 
endeavoured to bend her mind to it, and as for the matter of 
the succession, she promised that they should have the benefit 
of her prayers." The commons were not content with this 
oracular declaration, and passed a vote, that the bill for the 
supplies should be incorporated, with a bill for the setdement 
of the succession. The queen was exasperated at this novel 
step in the provision of ways and means, and when it was com- 
municated to her, by a deputation from the lower house, she 
hastily scribbled at the foot of the address her sentiments on 

^ D' Ewes' Joomal, 104. ' Burleigh papers. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 229 

the occasion, which, according to a notation in cipher, added 
by Sir William Cecil, she repeated, by way of answer,^ to Mr. 
Speaker and thirty members of the House of Commons, who 
brought up the unlucky address, Nov. 14, 1566. It is to be 
hoped her speech was more perspicuous than her notes of it, or 
little could the commons learn further, than that their liege 
lady was in a rage : — 

"I know no reason why any my private answers to the realm should 
serve for prologne in a subsidy vote ; neither yet do I understand why such 
audacity should be used to make without my licence an Act of my words. 
Are my words like law)'er*s books, which now-a-days go to the wire- 
drawers, to make subtle doings more plain ? Is there no hold of my speech 
without an act to compel me to confirm I Shall my princely consent be 
turned to strengthen my words, that be not of themselves substantives ? 
Say no more at this time, but if these fellows — (we fear she meant the 
members of the House of Commons by this irreverent vtox^ fellows) — were 
well answered, and paid with lawful coin, there would be no fewer 
counterfeits among them ! " 

The commons regarded this intimation as a breach of their 
privileges, and allowed the bill for the supplies — that business 
to which alone her Majesty was desirous they should direct 
their attention, to remain unnoticed. They maintained with 
unwonted independence, "that since the queen would not 
marry, she ought to be compelled to name her successor, and 
that her refusing to do so, proceeded from feelings which could 
only be entertained by weak princes and faint-hearted women." * 
Elizabeth was mortified at this language, but felt that she 
reigned solely by the will and affections of her own people, 
whose representatives she had insulted. France, Spain, Scot- 
land, Rome, were ready to unite against her if she took one 
false step; and she was without money. It was not in her 
temper to retract, but she well knew how to cajole, and send- 
ing for thirty members from each house, she assured them of 
her loving affection and desire to do all that her subjects' weal 
required, and that, understanding that the house was willing to 
grant her an extra subsidy if she would declare her successor ; 
she could only say, " that half would content her, as she con- 
sidered that money in her subjects' purses was as good as in 
her own exchequer." • This popular sentiment obtained from 
the parliament the really ample grant of one-fifteenth and one- 
tenth from the people, and four shillings in the pound from the 

1 The paper written on, is her harried running hand, is still to b« teen among the 
Lansdowne MSS., Brit Moaetun, No. 1236, foL 4a. A sentence or two, unconnected in 
sense, precedes those we have quoted. A speamen of this autograph is engraved in 
Netherclift's autographs of illustrious women of Great Britain— 4 work of great merit 

9 D'Ewes* Journals of Parliament. * D'Ewes. Rapin. Camden. 

Digitized by VjOOQ iC 

230 Elizabeth 

clergy, unfettered by any conditions whatsoever. When Eliza- 
beth had gained this point, she dismissed her parliament 
without delay, in a half-pathetic, half-vituperative speech from 
the throne ; observing in the commencement of her harangue, 
** that although her lord keeper (Bacon) had addressed them, 
she remembered that a prince's own words bore more weight 
with them than those that were spoken by her command." 
She complained bitterly of "the dissimulation that she had 
found among them when she was herself all plainness. As for 
her successor," she said, " they might, perhaps, have a wiser or 
more learned to reign over them, but one more careful for their 
weal they could not have, but whether she ever lived to meet 
them again, or whoever it might be, she bade them beware how 
they again tried their prince's patience as they had done hers. 
And now, to conclude," said her Majesty, "not meaning to 
make a Lent of Christmas, the most part of you may assure 
yourselves that you depart in your prince's grace." ^ 

At the very period of this stormy excitement, Elizabeth was 
secretly amusing herself with the almost exploded chimeras of 
alchemy, for Cecil in his diary has noted ^lat, in Jaouary, 1567, 
"ComeUus LaiK)y, a Dutchman, was committed to the Tower 
for abusing ^ the queen's majesty, in pnHntsii^ to make the 
elixir." This impostor had been permitted to have his labor- 
atory at Somerset House, where he had deceived many by 
promising to convert any metal into gold. To the queen a 
more flattering delusion had been held forth, even the drou^t 
of perpetual life and youth, and her strong intellect had been 
duped into a persuasion that it was in the power of a foreign 
empiric to confer the boon of immortality upon her. The 
particulars of this transaction would doubtless afford a curious 
page in the personal history of the mighty Elizabeth. That 
she was a believer in the occult sciences, and an encotuager 
of those who practised the forbidden arts of divination and 
transmutation, no one who has read the diary of her pet 
conjuror, Dr. Dee, can doubt. It is probable that he was an 
instrument used by her to practise on the credulity of other 
prince^, and that, through his agency, she was enabled to 
peoetcate into many secret plots and associations in her own 
realm, but she placed apparently an absurd reliance on his 
predictions herself. She even condescended with her whole 
court and privy council to visit him one da^ at Mortlake, when 
it was her gracious intention to have exammed his library, and 
entered into further conference, but understanding that his wife 

^ D'Ewes. Rapm. ■ le., uhuingt in old Bngflish, meant deceiving. 

Digitized by VjOOglC 

Elizabeth 231 

had only been burled four hours, she csontented herself wkh a 
peep intjo his magic mhror, which he brought to her.^ " Her 
Majesty," says Etee, " being taken down from her horse by the 
Earl of Leicester, master of the horse, at the church wall, at 
Mc^ake, did see some of the properties of that glass, to her 
Majesty's great contentment and delight" * 

A strange sight, in sooth, it must have been for the good 
people of Mortladce, who had witnessed in the morning the 
interment of the wizard's wife in the churchyard, t?o behold in 
the afternoon the maiden Majesty of Englsmd, holding con- 
ference with the occult widower under the same church wall, 
on "the flowery margin of the Thames. Nay, more, alighting 
from her stately palfrey, to read a fcwrbidden page of futurity in 
the dim depths of his wondrous mirror*— ebon framed, and in 
shape and size resembling some antique hand-screen — while 
her gay and ambitious master of tfce horse, scarcely refrained, 
perchance, from compelling the oracle to reflect his own hand- 
some face to the royal eye, as that of the man whom the fates 
had decided it was her destiny to wed. Many, however, were 
the secret consultations Dee held with Queen EHzabeth at 
Windsor, and Richmond, and even at Whitehall; and when 
she passed that way she honoured him with especial greetings. 

"September 1:7th," says he, " the queen's majesty came 
from Richmond in her coach, the higher way of Mortlake Field, 
and when rfie came right against the church, she turned down 
towards my house ; and when she was against my garden in 
the field, she stood there a good while, and then came into the 
street at the great gate of the field, where, espying me at my 
door making obeisances to her Majesty, she beckoned me to come 
to her coach side ; she very speedily pulled off her glove and gave 
me her hand to loss, «nd to be shcat, asked me to resort to her 
court, and to give her to wete (know) when I came there!" * 
He also had flattered Elizabeth with promises of perennial youth 
and beauty, from his anticipated discovery of the elixir cf life, 
and the prospect of unbounded wealth, as soon as he should 
have arrived at the power of bringing to practical purpose liis 
secret of transmuting the baser metals into gold. 

After years of false but not fruitless trickery, he professed to 
have arrived at the pomt of projection, having cut a piece of 
metal out of a brass warming-pan, and merely heating it by the 

1 Diary of Dr. De«, •dked hj lames O. Halliwcll, Eiq., publiBlied by tlic Camdca 
Society. Dee's Compendious Memorial. ^ 2 ibid. 

S Last summer, this identical mirror attracted much attention at the private view of 
Horace Walpole's collectioni at Strawberry Hill, and was sold, after great competition, for 
fifteen guineas. * I>e«'« Diary. 

Digitized by VjOOg IC 

232 Elizabeth 

fire and pouring on it a portion of his elixir, converted it into 
pure silver. He is said to have sent the warming-pan with the 
piece of silver to the queen, that she might see with her own 
eyes the miracle, and be convinced that they were the veritable 
parts that had been severed from each other, by the Q^act 
manner in which they corresponded after the transmutation 
had been effected.^ His frequent impositions on the judgment 
of the queen, did not cure her of the partiality with which she 
regarded him, and after a long residence on the continent, she 
wooed him to return to England, which he did, travelling with 
three coaches, each with four horses, in state, little inferior to 
that of an ambassador. A guard of soldiers was sent to defend 
him from molestation or plunder on the road. Immediately 
on his arrival, he had an audience of the queen, at Richmond, 
by whom he was most graciously received. She issued her 
especial orders that he should do what he liked in chemistry 
and philosophy, and that no one should on any account 
interrupt him. He held two livings in the Church, through the 
patronage of his royal mistress, though he was suspected by her 
loyal lieges of being in direct correspondence and friendship 
with the powers of evil. Elizabeth finally bestowed upon him 
the chancellorship of St. Paul's Cathedral.^ 

The very accurate accounts that were kept, by the officers of 
Elizabeth's wardrobe, of every article of the royal dress and 
decorations, are evidenced by the following amusing entry, 
from the highly curious MS. pertaining to that department, to 
which we have referred before : — 

'* Lost from her Majestv's back the 17th of January, anno 10 R. Eliz. at 
Westminster, one aglet of gold enamelled blue, set upon a gown of purple 
velvet, the ground satin ; the gown set all over with aglets of two sorts, the 
aglet which is lost being of the bigger sort Mem., That the i8th of April 
anno 8, R. Eliz. her Majesty wore a hat having a band of gold enamelled 
with knots, and set with twelve small rubies or garnets, at which time one 
of the said rubies was lost. Item, Lost from her Majesty's back at Willing- 
ton, the i6th of July, one aglet of gold enamelled white. Item, One pearl 
and a tassel of gold being lost from her Majesty's back, off the French 
gown of black satin, the 15th day of July, at Greenwich."* 

These aglets were ornamental loops, or eylets, of goldsmiths' 
work, with which Elizabeth's robes appear to have been thickly 
besprinkled ; they were movable, and changed from one dress 
to another, according to pleasure, and she had various sets of 
them of different colours and patterns ; some gold enamelled 

1 Godwin's Lives of the Necromancers. ^ Godwin's Life of Dee. 

% Ex. MSS. Phillipps' Middle HiU Collection. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 233 

white, some blue, others purple, and some enriched with pearls 
and gems. Manifold are the entries in the said wardrobe book, 
of the losses her Majesty sustained in these decorations ; in one 
instance the record is entered in regal style. " Item — ^lost from 
the face of a gown, in our wearing the same at Cheynes, July 
anno 12., one pair of small aglets, enamelled blue, parcel of 
183 pair." The inference of the reader would naturally be, 
that her Majesty's yeomen of the robes must have performed 
their duties very negligently to allow such insecure stitching to 
be used in her service ; but we remember to have seen in a 
contemporary MS., that when the queen dined in public on 
one of her progresses, some of those that stood about her cut 
aglets from her Majesty's dress, and that not out of a pilfering 
disposition, but from feelings of loyal enthusiasm for the sake 
of possessing something that had been worn by their adored 
liege lady. Her losses of jewellery were not confined to aglets. 
At Oatkuids, in the month of June, she was minus four buttons 
of gold, enamelled white and blue ; and at Hampton Court, ^ 
in the month of January, in the following year, four pair of 
pomander buttons. 

" Item, Lost from her Majesty's hack, the 25th of December, anno 15, 
one itassel and one middle piece of gold from a knotted button, containing 
three pearls in de pece. Lost from her Majesty's back, 17th of November, 
one eft of gold." 

Pope's sarcastic lines on the habit of mind of some females, 
who seem to employ equal depth of stratagem on matters of 
trifling import as on the government of a state, never sure 
received completer historic^ illustration, than when the acute 
heads of Elizabeth and Cecil plotted together to obtain 
surreptitiously the services of a tailor, employed by the Queen- 
regent of France, Catherine de Medids, The goi^t with which 
the Prime Minister of England enters into this intrigue, rather 
authenticates the statement of Parsons, the Jesuit, that he was 
the son of an operative tailor,^ being in the same predicament 
with Pepys, whose affectionate instincts towards his paternal 
craft have more recently diverted all the world. 

"The queen's majesty," wrote Cecil to Sir Henry Norris, the 
ambassador at Paris, " would fain have a tailor that had skill, 
to make her apparel both after the Itelian and French manner, 
and she thinketh that yoik might use some means to obtain 

1 The hiehest preferment his father, Richard Cecil, ever obtained, was yeoman of the 
robes; he had previonsly serred H^my VI II. and Edward VI., in some wardrobe 
vocation, but whether he had ever handled shesu^ and needle accordmg to the statemen*^ 
of Parsons, most Temain matter of speculation. 

Digitized by (5® Ogle 

234 Elizabeth 

some one that senreth the French queen, without mentioning 
any manner of request in our queen's majesty's name. First 
cause your lady to get such a one." The gist of the jntrigue 
wajs, that the tailor Was to be entieed into England by the 
agency of Lady Norrisi without Catherine de Medici^ knowing 
the matter, lest that queen should formally offer the servtoes of 
the man of stitch) aiid thus entail a political obligation on the 
Majesty of England. 

The time and talents of this profound stateana;an were also 
employed by Elizabeth in devising a truly ludicrous prodama- 
tion to prevent unskilful paintears, gravers, and printers horn 
doing injustice to the goodly lineaments of her graGious 
countenance, by presuming to attempt poiHjaitmres of her till 
some cunning parson should have made such a perfect repre- 
sentation as might serve for a pattern meet to be fcdiowed. 
But even when tiiis state pattern was provided, none were to 
be allowed to cc^yjit but persons of imderstanding, oor 'even 
\ such as.w^e» unless duly authorized by l licence. As for the 
ill-favoured portraits of her .Majesty that ihad already been 
' rashly perpetrated, they were absolutely prohibited^ as contra- 
band articles, and were not permitted to be exposed for sale, 
" till such should be reformed as were reformable." * 

Elizabeth, though drawing is said to have been one of her 
accomplishments, was so little acquainted with the principles 
of art, that she objected to allow any shades to be used by her 
court painter, as she considered all dark tints injuiious to the 
fairness and smoothness of compleadonr and contour ; hence, 
the Chinese flatness ahd insipidity which; is generally the 
prevailing diaracteristic of her portraits. ^ ' 

In February, 1567, the horrible and mysterious murder of 
the unfortunate husband of Mary Queen of Scots took place, 
under circumstances, artfully contrived by the perpetrators of 
this atrocious deed, to fling a strong suspicion of the crime on 
their hapless sovereign. Elizabeth's fiist impulse, on learning 
this tragic e^ent, was to sexid Lady Jiovaixi and Lady Ceeil to 
her ilUreated cousin. Lady Lenox, whom she had detained 
now two years a close prisoner in the Tower, to break to her 
the agonizing news of the calamity that had befallen her. In 
the evening, she sent her own physician. Dr. Huick, to visit 
her, and the Dean of Westminster to offer her consolation.^ It 
is possible that if this experienced lady had been allowed to 
join her husband and son. in Scotland, on the marriage of 
Mary with the latter, her counsels and mediation might have 

1 Aikin's Elizabeth. > Cecil to Norria ia Aflcia's £Iimbeth< . 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 235 

operated to prevent most of those unhappy differences between 
the royal pair, which were fomented by their mutual foes. 
Now that the worst that could befal had happened, Elizabeth 
restored Lady Lenox and her youngest son, CharleSi to liberty, 
and treated her with tenderness and consideration. Both the 
countess and her husband haying been led to believe that the 
Scottish queen was deeply implicated in the murder of their 
son, appealed to Elizabeth for vengeance, and especially to 
l^ing Bothwell to an open trial for \us sbaxe in the transaction. 
Elizabeth wrote, in the energetic spirit of a daughter of the 
Plantagenets, to her unhappy cousin Mary Stuart, conjuring 
h&c to act as became hex m this frightful crisis. She says : — 
"For the love of God, madame^ use such sincerity and 
prudence in this case, which touches you so nearly, that all the 
world may have reason to judge you innocent of so enormous a 
crime — a thing, which unless you do, you will be worthily 
blotted out from the rank of princesses, and rendered, not 
undeservedly, the opfHrobrium of* the vulgar; rather than which ^ 
fate should befal you, I should wish you an honourable, 
sepulchre, instead of a stained life." ^ This letter was written 
at the instance of Damley's &.ther, the Earl of Lenox, who was 
desirous of having Bothwell's trial postponed till he could 
obtain further proofs of his guilt, but Mary was in the hands 
of Bothwell and his faction. Elizabeth's letter fell into the 
possession of Maitland, whose interest it was to suppress it, 
and there is reason to believe that it never reached her at all. 
Maitland attended Bothwell on his trial, and he was acquitted.* 
Elizabeth, of course, received no answer to her letter, which 
might have led so acute a princess to suspect that it had been 
intercepted or detained, especially when she understood that it 
had passed into hands so suspicious as those of Maitland, whose 
falsehood she had good reason to know. However, it suited 
her policy to consider Mary as a state criminal, and she eagerly 
received the strong tide of circumstantial evidence as confirma- 
tion of her guilt. On the subject of Mary's marriage with 
Bothwell, Elizabeth expressed herself with great severity, not 
only on account of its appearing an outrage against every proper 
feeling, but because she anticipated that an immediate league 
between the new consort of the Scottish queen and France 
would be the result." There can be little doubt but this would 
have been the case if Mary's marriage with that ruffian had 
been her own choice, or anything but the offspring of dire 
necessity. Mary's kindred and the court of France treated 

1 Robertson's Appendix. > Tytlcr. Ungiud. < Tytler 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

236 Elizabeth 

him, by the advice of the ambassador, Du Croc, who was the 
friend and confidant of the hapless queen, with the scorn he 
merited.* They would not acknowledge him in any way, 
therefore Elizabeth was very soon relieved from her apprehen- 
sion of a dangerous coalition between Bothwell and France. 

Relentlessly as Elizabeth had laboured to undermine the 
throne of Mary Stuart, she no sooner beheld it in dust, and 
the queen a degraded and heart-broken captive in the hands of 
the fierce oligarchy, whom her machinations and her gold had 
spirited up against their sovereign, than her mind misgave her. 
The blow that had been successfully struck at her hated rival 
might rebound upon herself, by demonstrating to her own 
subjects the fact that crowned heads were amenable to the 
delegates of the people, not only for misgovernment, but for 
personal crimes — a principle which no Tudor sovereign could 
desire to see established in England. Yet she, Elizabeth, the 
most despotic monarch, save and except her father, that ever 
swayed the sceptre of this realm, had nourished the spirit of 
revolt against regal authority in the dominions of her neighbour, 
and for the sake of personal vengeance on a fairer woman than 
herself, had committed a political sin against her own privileged 
and peculiar class, by teaching others to set at nought 

" The divinity 
That hedges in a king.'' 

The recent proceedings in Scotland, the movements of the 
Huguenots in France and in Flanders, were signs of the 
tendency of the times towards a general emancipation from the 
restraints which governments and state creeds had imposed on 
the minds of men. The spiritual yoke of Rome had been 
broken in England and Scotland, and the elements of political 
revolution were agitating the western nations. Elizabeth had 
fed the flame for the sake of embarrassing the hostile sovereigns, 
who were ready to impugn her title to the crown she wore, but 
she was the most arbitrary of all in her determination to crush 
the same spirit in her own realm. A party was, however, 
struggling into existence, whose object was to establish the 
right of senates to hold the sovereign in check, and Elizabeth 
already began to feel its influence. 

Her own parliament had recently opposed her will, and 
attempted to dictate to her the line of conduct they considered 

1 Letters of Mary Queen of Scots, edited by Agnes Strickland, vol. i^ new edition, 
pp. 50, 5t, published by Colbum. See likewise the document in the old French in Mr. 
Tytler^s Appendix to History of Scotland. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 237 

it was her duty to adopt, and if encouraged by the example of 
the successful revolt of Mary Stuart's subjects, they might ere 
long treat herself with as little ceremony. In the first revulsion 
caused by these reflections, Elizabeth despatched Throck- 
morton to Scotland, on a mission of comfort to the captive 
queen, and of stem remonstrance to her former tools and 
pensioners — Murray and his triumphant faction. While Mary 
was exposed to every bitter insult and indignity, during her 
woful incarceration at Lochleven, Elizabeth wrote to the Queen- 
regent of France, Catherine de Medicis, the following letter, 
which casts a peculiar light on the apparent inconsistency of 
her political conduct at this period with regard to her royal 
kinswoman : — 

"Oct. 26, 1567. 

" Having learned by your letter, madame, of which Monsieur Pasquier 
is the bearer, your honourable intention, and that of the king, my brother, 
on the part of my desolate cousin, the Queen of Scots, I rejoice me very 
much to see that one prince takes to heart the wrongs done to another, 
having a hatred to that metamorphosb, where the head is removed to the 
foot, and the heels hold the highest place. I promise you, madame, that 
even if my consanguinity did not constrain me to wish her all honour, her 
example would seem too terrible for neighbours to behold, and for all 
princes to hear. These evils often resemble the noxious influence of some 
baleful planet, which, commencing in one place, without the good power, 
might well fall in another, not that (God be thanked) I have any doubts 
on my part, wishing that neither the king my good brother, nor any other 
prince had more cause to chastise their bad subjects, than I have to avenge 
myself on mine, which are always as faithful to me as I could desire ; not- 
withstanding which I never fail to condole with tho«e princes who have 
cause to be angry. Even those troubles that formerly began with the king 
have vexed me before now. 

"Monsieur Pasquier (as I believe) thinks I have no French, by the 
passions of laughter into which he throws me, by the formal precision with 
which he speaks, and expresses himself. 

** Beseeching yon, madame, if I can at this time do you any pleasure, 
yon will let me know, that I may acquit myself as a good friend on your 
part. In the meantime, I cannot cease to pray the Creator to g^ard the 
Icing and yourself from your bad subjects, and to have you always in his 
holy care. 

«* In haste, at Hampton Court, this i6th of October (1567). 

** Your good sister and cousin, 

** Elizabeth. "1 

The commiseration affected by Elizabeth in this letter for 
the troubles she had industriously fomented in the dominions, 
both of Mary Stuart and Charles IX., was, doubtless, galling in 

1 Tliis remarkable letter is translated from the original French, and has never before 
been introduced into Elisabeth's biojgraphy, being one of the precious transcripts from 
the royal autographs in the Imperial Library at St. Petersburg, which h^ ^acious 
permission, were transmitted to me last November, by Mr. Atkinson, librarian to the 
emperoK. See idso Letters of Mary Queen of Scots, vol. I, new edition, pp. 55, 56. 1 

Digitized by VjOOg IC 

238 Elizabeth 

the extreme to the proud Catherine de Medkis. In her 
answer, some months afterwards, that princess retorts, in the 
keenness of Italian sarcasm, her own words upon the Eng^sh 

Elizabeth was at this time amusing herself with the matri- 
monial negotiations which were actively renewed for her 
marriage with the accomplished Archduke Charles, youngest 
son of the Emperor Ferdinand I., and brother to MaximiHan 
II., the reigning Emperor of Germany. The religion of the 
archduke was the oanly impediment to an alliance^ which 
Elizabeth is supposed to have considered with more com- 
placency than any other of her numerous offers. The Earl of 
Sussex, her Grand Chamberlain, the well-known opponent of 
Leicester, was the ambassador in the treaty, and prosecuted his 
mission with great zeal, in hopes of giving a check to the 
absorbing favouritism of his adversary. The letters of this 
magnificent noble are worthy of his high character; he draws, 
for his mistress's information, a very graphic picture of her 
suitor : ^ — 

"His Highness," writes Sussex to the queen, ''is of person higher, 
surely, a ^ood deal than my knrd marquis (of Baden) ; his hair of head and 
beard, a light auburn ; his &,ce well proportioned, amiable, and of a very 
good complexion, without shew of redness or over paleness ; his cooate- 
nance and speech cheerful, very courteous, but stately. His body very 
well shaped, without deformity or blemish ; his bands very good and fair ; 
his legs clean, well proportioned, and of sufficient bigness for his stature ; 
his foot as good as may be. So as, upon my duty to your Majesty, I find 
not one deformity, misshape, or anything to be noted worthy of misliking 
in his whole person ; but contrariwise, 1 find his whole shape to be good 
in all respects, and such as is rarely found in a prinq;. His Highness, 
besides ms natural language of Dutch (German), speaketh, very well, 
planish and Italian, and, as I bear, Latin. His dealings with me are very 
wise ; hid conversation such as much contents me, and, as I hear, not one 
returns discontented from his company. He is greatly beloved here of all 
men. The chiefest gallants of these parts are his men, and follow his 
court, and truly we cannot be so glad to have him come to us as they will 
be sad here to have him go from them. He is reported to be valiant and 
of great courage in defending all his countries from the Turks, and in 
making them keep his rules. And he is universally (which I most weigh) 
noted to be of such virtue that he was never spotted or touched with any 
notable vice or crime, which is much in a prince of his years, endowed 
with such qualities. He delights much in hunting, riding, hawking, and 
exercise of feats of arms, and hearing of music, whereof he hath very good. 
He bath, as I hear, some understanding in astronomy and cosmography, 

1 Catherine's bitterly sarcastic reply to this letter, In the succeedinff May, when her 
daughter-in-law, the fugitive Qtieen of Scots, was a prisoner in Elizabeth's dominions, 
may be seen at full len^h tn the chain of historical correspondence eiRbpdied ia tho 
letters of Mary Queen oTScots, voL i, new edition, pp. 71-73. 

> Lodged lOustrations, vol i. 448. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 239 

and takes pleasure in clocks that set forth the course of the planets. He hath 
for his portion, the countries of Styria* Camiola, Trieste, and Istria, and 
the government of what remains in Croatin, where he may ride, without 
entering any other man's territories, 300 miles. 

"Since the writing of my other letters," continues Sussex, **I took 
occasion to go to the archduRe in order to sound him in all causes, and to 
feel whether what he had uttered to me proceeded from him bona fide, or 
were but words of form. At my coming, his Highness willed me to go into 
his bedchamber, where, the doors being shut and no person present, we 
had long talk, the efifect whereof I will recite to your Majesty as near as I 
can. You, I said, were free to many where it should please God to put 
you in the heart to like, and you had given no grateful ear to any motion 
of marriage before this, although yon had receiv^ sundry great offers from 
others, I would therefore be as bold with his Highness as I was with your 
Majesty, and therefore beseeched him to let me, on his honour, understand 
whether he earnestly desired for lore of your person, and had determined 
in his heart for this marriage^ or else to satisfy others that procured him 
thereto, and cared not what became thereof, for in the one I would serve 
your Majesty and him truly, and in the other I was not a person of that 
quality to be made a convenient minister. 

'* His Highness answered, ' Count, I have heard by the emperor of your 
dealing with him, and I have had doings with you m3Pself, wherewith he 
and I rest very well contented, but, truly, I never rested more ccmtented 
than I do of this dealing, wherein, besides your duty to her who trusted 
you, you shew what you ajre yourself, for which I honour you as jrou are 
worthy,* (pardon me, interpolates Sussex, I beseech your Majesty, for 
writing the words he spake of myself, for they serve to set forth his natural 
disposition. ) ' Although,* continues the archduke, * I have always had good 
hope of the queen's honourable dealing in this matter, yet I have heard so 
much of her disposition not to marry as might give me cause to suspect the 
worst ; but, by your manner of dealing with me, I do think myself bound 
(wherewith he put off his cap) to honour, love, and serve her Majesty while 
I live, and will. firmly credit what you, oil her Majesty's behalf, have said. 
Therefore, if I might have hope that her Majesty would bear with me for 
my conscience (on account of his being a CathoUc), I know not that thing 
in the world I would refuse to do at her commandment. And surely I 
lucfe from the b^inning of the matter settled my heart upon her, and never 
thought of other wife, if she would think me worthy to be her husband/ 

<* X thanked his Highness for his frank dealing, wherein I would believe 
him, and deal likewise. And now I am satis&ed in this, I beseech your 
H^hness to satisfy also me in another matter, and bear with me, though I 
seem somewhat busy, for I mean it for the best." 

Sussex, with more diploiaacy than seems consistent with his 
manly character^ proceeded to give the archduke a hint that 
scHoe indecision had been attributed to him on the point of 
religion. In plain language, that he meant to act according 
to the fetshion of the times, and adopt the creed that best 
suited his interest and aggirandizement. 

"If this be true," continued Sussex, ^* trust me, sir, I beseech yon, I 
will not betray you, and let me know the secret of your heart, whereby you 
may grow to a shorter end of your desire. On my oath I assure you I will 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

240 Elizabeth 

never utter your counsel to any person living, but to the queen my mistress, 
and I deliver you her promise, upon her honour, not to utter it to any 
person without your consent ; and if you will not trust me therein, commit 
it to her Majesty by letter, and she will not deceive you." 

The answer of the archduke is noble and sincere : — 

" Surely," said his Highness, " whoever has said this of me to the 
queen's majesty, or to you, or to any other, hath said more than he knoweth. 
God grant he meant well therein. My ancestors have always holden the 
religion that I hold, and I never knew other, therefore I never could have 
purpose to change. I trust when her Majesty shall consider mv case well 
my determination herein shall not hurt my cause. For, count, continued 
he (to the Earl of Sussex), *' how could the queen like me in anything if I 
should prove so light in changing my conscience? Therefore I will, 
myself, crave of her Majesty, by my letters, her grant of my only request, 
and I pray you, with all my heart, to further it all you may." 

" In such like talk his Highness spent almost two hours with me, which 
I thought my duty to advertise your Majesty. Hereupon I^ gather that 
reputation rules him much in the case of religion, and that if God couple 
you together in liking, you shall find in him a true husband, a loving com- 
panion, a wise councillor, and a faithful servant, and we shall have as 
virtuous a prince as ever ruled. Grod grant (though you are worthy a great 
deal better than he, if he were to be found) that our wickedness be not 
such as we be unworthy of him, or of such as he is. — From Vienna, this 
26th of October, 1567. Your Majest3r*s most humble and fsdlhful subject 
and servant, 

"T. Sussex." 

In succeeding conferences, the archduke agreed to conform 
so far as to be present with Elizabeth at the service of the 
Church of England, and that neither he nor his would speak 
or do the least thing to the disparagement of the established 
religion ; and that if he were allowed the use of a chapel for 
the rites of his own, no Englishman should ever be present at 
mass. But Elizabeth showed her usual sagacity in the rejec- 
tion of his hand. She knew if she married a Catholic, however 
wise and moderate he might be, she should instantly lose the 
confidence of the great mass of her Protestant subjects who 
kept her on the throne, and that she should be forced, with her 
husband, to join entirely with the Catholic party, very few of 
whom could consider her birth as legitimate. Sussex con- 
tinued to describe the personal gallantry of the archduke when 
riding at the ring, and other chivahic exercises, in the con- 
templation of which his royal mistress delighted. " In the 
afternoon," he said, " the emperor rode in his coach to see the 
archduke run at the ring, who commanded me to run at his 
side, and my Lord North, Mr. Cobham, and Mr. Powell to 
run on the other side ; and after our running was done, the 
archduke mounted a courser of Naples, and surely his High- 
Digitized by VjOOg IC 

Elizabeth 241 

ness, in the order of his running, the managing of his horse, 
and the manner of his seat, governed himself exceedingly well, 
and so as, in my judgment, not to be amended." ^ 

Elizabeth, notwithstanding, knew her duty too well, as 
Queen of England, to introduce more jealousies among her 
people, than those which were already fermenting around her. 
She ultimately refused the accomplished German, on account 
of diversity of religion. Sussex attributed the ill success of his 
mission to the paramount influence of Leicester, saying, " he 
knew who was at work in the vineyard at home, but if God 
should ever put it into his dear mistress's heart to divide the 
weeds from the grain, she would reap the better harvest here," 
Leicester's party had already whispered that the archduke was 
devotedly attached to a German lady, and had a family of 
young children, for whose sake he would never marry. 

While this negotiation was yet proceeding, events occurred 
in the sister realm of Scotland, which gave a new and strange 
colouring to the next twenty years of Elizabeth's life and reign. 
The unfortunate Queen of Scots having eflected her escape 
from Lochleven Castle, her faithful friends rallied round her 
standard, but being intercepted and cut ofl" by the rebel lords 
in her retreat to Dumbarton, she suflered a decisive defeat, 
May 13th, 1568, at the battle of Langside. She took the fatal 
resolution of throwing herself on the protection of Queen 
Elizabeth, to whom she wrote a touching letter from the abbey 
of Dundrenan, assuring her that her sole dependence was on 
her friendship. " To remind you," concludes the royal fugitive, 
"of the reasons I have to depend on England, I send back to 
you, its queen, this token of her promised friendship and. 
assistance."^ This was a diamond, in the form of a heart, 
which had been sent to her by Elizabeth as a pledge of her 
amity and good will. 

Contrary to the advice of her friends, Mary, with the rash 
confidence of a queen of tragedy or romance, crossed the Frith 
of Solway in a fishing boat, with Lord Herries and her little 
train, and, on the i6th of May, landed at Workington, in 
Cumberland. The next day she addressed an eloquent letter 
to Elizabeth, detailing briefly and rapidly the wrongs to which 
she had been subjected, her present sore distress, even for a 

1 The archduke hore the reputation of one of the greatest generals in Europe, and is 
mentioned with the utmost respect as such by Henry the Great (Mem. de Due de Sullyl 
I n his tastes for clocks and astronomy he resembles his great unclei the Emperor Charles V. 
He died July i, 1590, aged 50^ 

3 See Uie Letters of Mary, Queen of Scots, edited by Agues Strickland, new edition, 
vol. i. pp. 66. 67. 

Digitized by VjOOQ iC 

242 Elizabeth 

change of appard, and entreated to be conducted to her 
presence.! Mary was recognked by the gentlemen of the 
neighbourhood, and received an honourable welcome; and 
she was conducted to Carlisle with sufficient marks of affection 
and respect, to excite the jealous ill-will of Elizabeth, who sent 
her own trusty kinsman, Sir Francis KrK)llys, and Lord Scroop, 
ostensibly to cor>gratulate the royal fugitive in her name on her 
escape, but in effect to constitute her a prisoner. The hard, 
uncourteous manner in which, after a few deceitful compliments, 
this pair of statemen behaved, is sufficiently proved by the 
testimony of their own letters. Yet it is impossible to read 
those of Knollys without being struck with his sagacious fore- 
sight of the evil results arising from Mary's detention. Aldiough 
his comments are personally malicious to the Quewi of Scots, 
and he omitted nothing that was calculated to excite Elizabeth's 
jealousy and suspicion against her, still he wisely deprecated 
her imprisonment in England, as alike impolitic and dis- 

Elizabeth, not contented with the detention of her un- 
fortunate guest, endeavoured, by all the means she could 
devise, to obtain possession of Mary's infant son, the heir, 
as he subsequently proved, of both their realms. Could 
she have succeeded in getting this babe into her hands, she 
would then have had every living creature who stood in the 
line of the regal succession in her power. The broken-hearted 
Lady Katharine Gray was dead, but her orphan infants, though 
stigmatized as illegitimate, were still regarded by a strong 
party, whom the queen could neither silence nor awe, as the 
representatives of the line to which the crown had been 
entailed by Henry VII L There had been an attempt by 
Hailes, the clerk of the hanaper, to advocate the claims of 
these children to the succession. Elizabeth's acute minister, 
Nicholas Bacon, was implicated * in this project, and had been 
for a time under the cloud of the royal displeasure. The 
presence of the heir-male of the elder line, under the immedi- 
ate tutelage of Elizabeth, would effectually silence the partisans 
of the persecuted descendants of the house of Suffolk, besides 
guarding the sovereign from any attempts on the part of the 
royal line of Lenox-Stuart Murray would not, however, 
resign the infant prince, in whose name alone he could 
exercise the regal power of Scotland ; for well he knew that 

1 See the Letters of Mary, Queen of Scots, edited by Agnes Stric^and; new edition, 
rol. !. p. 7«' 
s Ibid. voL ii., Sir F. Knollys' Letter In Appendix. * Camdeo. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 243 

Eliaibeth's next step would be to make herself mistress of 
Scotland, under the pret^ice of asserting the rights of the 
lawful heir. Independently of- this, her favourite project, 
Elizabeth, as the umpire chosen to dedde the controversy 
between Mary Stuart and the faction by whom that queen had 
been dethroned, and branded with the crimes of adultery and 
murder, had a mighty political advantage in her power, if she 
could have resolved to fulfil her promises of friendship and 
protection to her hapless kinswwian. She was exactly in tbat 
position which would have enabled her to name her own terms 
with Mary, as the price of reestablishing her on the throne of 
Scotland. The predominant faction, fen* it was no more, (since 
Mary had a strong party in her favour, ready to peril all in her 
behalf, and others willing to befriend her, yet fearmg to expose 
themselves to the malice of her enemies, unless some visible 
protection encouraged them,) dared not have acted in oppo- 
sition to the fiat of the armed umpire they had chosen, whose 
troops were rieady to pour over the border, and even then 
occupied some of the fortresses of the fromiers. Elizabeth 
could hav^e negotiated a pardon for her old confederates and 
pensioners — could have replaced Mary in a moderate exercise 
of the regal ^ower of Scotland^ and established herself in the 
dignity maintained by the monarchs of England in the olden 
times, even that of Bretwalda, or paiamount-suzefain, of the 
Britaraiic Empire. She preferred gratifying personal revenge 
to the Aggrandizement of her realm, and the exaltation of her 
glory b^h as a sovereign and a woman, and committed an 
enormous political blunder, as well as a crime, by the useless 
turpitude of her conduct to Mary Stuart. 

From the moment, too, that she resolved on the unjustifiable 
detention of the royal fugitive, her oWn peace of mind was 
forfeited; she had sown the hydra's teeth in the hitherto 
peaceful soil of her own realm, and they sprang up to vex her 
with plots, foreign and domestic, open revolts, and secret 
coniedenacies, in which her ancient nobility were deeply in- 
volved. The loving welcome that merry Carlisle and its 
neighbouring magnates, the chivakic aristocracy o( the border, 
had given to the beautiful and fascinating heiress presumptive 
to the crown, early filled Elizabeth and her council with 
jealous uneasiness, and Mary was removed, sorely against hei 
will, to Bolton Castle, in Yorkshire, the seat of Lord Scroop, 
to whose charge ^e was consigned.^ 

In August, contrary to her first decision, and to the advice 

^ Labanoff s Cfaroaology. Lettets of hbcty, Qoeen of Scots. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

244 Elizabeth 

of her faithful councillors, Mary agreed to submit her cause 
to the decision of the English commissioners appointed by 
Elizabeth. The conferences were opened at York, where 
Murray and his confederates urged not only their old accusa- 
tions against their sovereign, but produced the far-famed 
silver-gilt casket and its contents, the sonnets and letters 
which they asserted Mary had written to Bothwell.^ They 
refused to allow Mary herself to see these, neither was she 
permitted to appear, according to her own earnest desire, to 
confront and cross-question her accusers. So impressed, how- 
ever, was the president of the commission, the premier peer of 
England, Elizabeth's maternal kinsman, the Duke of Norfolk, 
of the innocence of the Scottish queen, that he was willing to 
trust his own honour in her hands, and actually pronounced 
the fullest sentence of acquittal that mortal judge could do, by 
seeking her for his wife. It is true, that he had seen her at 
Carlisle, and was captivated by her beauty ; but if any portion 
of the horrible and vulgar letters purporting to have been 
written by Mary to Bothwell, could have be^n proved, a 
revulsion of feeling in the breast of Norfolk must have been 
the result, which would have taught him to regard her with 
sentiments of horror, instead of the love and reverence for 
her virtues, which attended him to the block, and was trans- 
mitted by him as a legacy to his equally unfortunate son, 
Philip, Earl of Arundel Elizabeth herself, after she had 
considered the evidences, pronounced that she had seen 
nothing proved on either side, and broke up the conferences.^ 

As early as November, 1568, Norfolk disclosed to Maitland 
his desire of a union with the captive queen, and suffered 
himself to be deluded by his pretended friendship, and the 
wiles of the treacherous Leicester and Murray, who induced 
him to believe that they were desirous of bringing this matter 
to pass. The project was revealed by them to Elizabeth, who 
caused Mary to be immediately transferred from the keeping 
of Lord Scroop, whose lady was the sister of the enamoured 
duke, to the gloomy and noxious fortress of Tutbury, where she 
was subjected to many harsh restraints, her train diminished, 
and herself placed under the ungentle gaolership of the Earl 
and Countess of Shrewsbury. 

The letters of the Earl of Shrewsbury unrol a long diary of 
concealed history.* The injustice with which Elizabeth treated 

1 For particulan of these, see Letters of Mary, Queen of Scots, vol. L, new edition, 
pp. 139 to 148, and Tytler the Elder's Dissertation. 
< See Labanoff's Chronology. Letters of Mary. Queen of Scots. 
' They form the most important feature of Lodge's Illustrations of Brit. Hist. 

Digitized by VjOOg IC 

Elizabeth 245 

her hapless heiress seems to have produced most baleful fruits 
to whoever partook of it. The Earl of Shrewsbury himself 
was greatly to be pitied ; he was more honourable and humane 
than many of his contemporaries, and most lamentably he 
entreated his royal mistress to relieve him of his charge. 
Elizabeth, who cantoned Mary and her attendants on him, 
because i^e was jealous of the report of his enormous wealth, 
at first either refused to pay him anything for the board of the 
royal captive and her followers, or paid him very meanly, and 
the magnificent earl was forced to raise piteous plaints of 
poverty, and of being utterly devoured, whenever he dunned 
for remittances to Leicester or Cecil. The earl was, in truth, 
converted into a wretched gaoler, who inflicted and received a 
life of domestic misery. His intriguing, proud, and cruel wife, 
whose temper could not be restrained by any power either on 
earth or in heaven, soon became jealous of the lovely and 
fascinating prisoner, and led her husband, a noble of exemplary 
gravity and a grandsire, a terrible life. The reports that 
originated from his own fireside caused Elizabeth to be ex- 
ceedingly suspicious, in her turn, of the stout earl, on whom 
she set spies, who reported his minutest actions. 

Writers have been found to justify the injurious treatment 
to which Mary Stuart was subjected in England, on the plea 
that she, as a foreign sovereign, might, by the laws of nations, 
be constituted a prisoner, because she entered Elizabeth's 
realm without having obtained permission to do so. Cecil, 
her great enemy, far from using so paltry an excuse, has written 
in his barristerial argument on her side, " She is to be helped 
because she came willingly into the realm, upon trust of the 
queen's majesty." Secondly, he says, and this convicts Eliza- 
beth of perfidy, which requires no comment, " She trusted in 
the queen's majesty's help, because she had, in her trouble, 
received many messages to that effect."^ 

If all the pens in the world were employed in the defence 
of Elizabeth's conduct, they could not obliterate the stain 
which that incontrovertible record of her treachery has left 
upon her memory. 

In justice to Elizabeth, however, be it recorded, that when 
the Countess of Lenox, with passionate tears, presented a 
petition to her, entreating, in the name of herself and husband, 
that the Queen of Scots might be proceeded against for the 
death of their son. Lord Darnley, the natural subject of the 
English sovereign, her Majesty, after graciously soothing 

1 Cecil's Notes pro Regina Scotomm et contra Regtnam Scotorum, in Ander^f^ 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

246 Elizabeth 

the afflicted mother, told her, *^that she could not, without 
evident proof, accuse a princess, and her near kinswoman, of 
so great a crime, significantly reminding her that the times 
were evil, and hatred blind, imputing often offences to persons 
of exalted rank of which they were innocent." ^ The Countess 
of Lenox was ultimately convinced that her daughter-in-kw, 
the Queen of Scots, was wholly guiltless of Darnley's death, 
and continued, till she died, in friendly correspondence with 

1 Camden's Elixab«tfa. 

3 $e» Queen of ScoU' Ijetters on Uus subject, «clked by Agnes <StirJ€kkiMl» vol. iL, new 
edition, p. 7. 

Digitized by VjOOg IC 


£)izab«tk'« deportmemt to Axeign Riqfaas^dort— Her first iBterriew witb La Moths 
FeneloD— Her coquettish remarks on Philip of Spain— She puts the Spanish ambassa- 
dor under arrest— Compares Alva's letter to a Valentine— Speaks angnly of the Queen 
of Scots— Writes to thai priocess— Warns the X>uke of NorloUc— Nicotiations for 
Elizabeth's marriage with the King of France — Flattery of the ambassador — Inde* 

corum of Leicester at BItabeth't toilet<— Remonstrances of the nobles on the b 
Arrrst of NotfoUc-c-Northecn rehrJlioa — £luabeth's poem-^Her aaaguinary •rder^^ 
fiiinbeth excommunicated by Pius V. — Conspiracies against her— Attempts to renew 
matrimonial treaty with the nchdukfr— Ajiger at his maniaga'— Henri of Ai^ou pro- 
posed to her— Her wish of accepting him— rDemuis of her council-^Her anger — 
Confidential remarks to bar ladies— Her Tisit to Sir Thomas Gre^am— Names the 
Royal Ea c h a ng e— Her ooBTenatton with the Frendi ambaaBtdor on mmriage— Her 
new &vourite, Sir Christopher Hatton — Her angry letter ta the Bishop of Ely — 
Intrigaet against her marriage-*-ReIuctanoe of her auitop^-Hu nncourteous obsemi- 
tiona— Elizabeth's remarks on tha portsut of th« Queen of France— Forbids George 
Strickland to appear in his place m parliament— Contumaciuusness of the Duke of 
Aigoo— Vei^ioB of his mother— Archduke Rodolphoffen to Elizabeth— Flatteries of 
the French ambassador — Elizabeth sends her portrait to Aiuott-«tHes remarks en his 
portrait— Fills hw work-basket with apricots for the French ambassador — Her 
massage to himr-Seads him a stag slain by herself— Manner ef EUsabctfa'a virit te 
Hunsdon House. 

Elizabbth, generally speaking, appears, like Talleyrand, to 
have considered that the chief use of language was to conceal 
her Teal meaning. The iitvc^ved and mystified style of her 
letters proves that such was the case *, and in consequence, she 
frequently deceived those whcm^ it was her interest to enlighten 
— namely, her own ambassadors and deputies. On the other 
hand^ har artifices amounted to mannerism, and were quickly 
penetrated by the representatives of other sovereigns whom 
she admitted to personal conferences. 

With ail her pride and caution, she was a great talker, and 
very excitable. It was no difficult matter to put her in a 
passion, and then she spoke he? mind freely enough, if we may 
rely on the reports of the various ambassadors resident at her 
court. Her vanity and coquetry, if skilfully played upon, often 
carried her beyond the bounds of prudence, and rendered her 
communicative on some points on which private gentlewomen 
generally maintained some degree of reserve. The reader has 
seen the free and easy terfns on which Sir James Melville 
contrived to establish himself with this haughty princess, and 
the singular confidences with whicti, both she and Leicester, 
£avouied two suocessive French ambassadors, De Fdys and La 
For^t ; the recent publication of the diespatcb^ of La Mothe 
Feneion, enables us to Unfold many a rich scene between that 
statesman and our royal heroine, which are now, for the f^ 

247 Digitized by GOOglC 



time, translated from the original French, and interwoven in 
her biography.^ 

Elizabeth honoured this ambassador, who was one of the 
deepest intriguers of the age, and of course one of the most 
agreeable flatterers, with an audience at Hampton Court, 
November 14th, 1568. She gave him a very gracious reception, 
but expressed some regret for the departure of La For^t, of 
whom she made honourable mention. She made particular 
inquiries after the health of the King of France and the queen- 
mother, and asked, " If it were true that they had been visited 
with the heavy affliction of the death of the Queen of Spain, 
Elizabeth of France?" La Mothe replied, "that it was only 
too true that their Majesties were overwhelmed with grief, and 
that they and their whole court were in mourning on that 
sorrowful occasion, which was the reason why he presented 
himself before her Majesty in that dress." Elizabeth, like her 
father and her brother Edward, entertained the greatest aversion 
to the sight of "doole," or anything that could remind her of 
the uncertainty of human life.^ She was pleased, however, to 
make a very courteous response, and said, " that she regretted 
the death of the Queen of Spain with all her heart, and that 
she should wear mourning for her, as if she had been her 
sister, and that she felt very much for their Majesties, knowing 
for a certainty how great their sorrow must be for this sad 
event; and she prayed God to give them some other good 
consolation in compensation for their loss." She observed, 
" that she had not yet been informed of this misfortune, either 
by the King of Spain or his ambassador; for if she had had 
the proper intimation of it, she would have had the obsequies 
of the Queen of Spain celebrated in England, as well as else- 
where." These complimentary solemnities in honour of the 
departed Catholic queen, were performed according to the rites 
of the Protestant Church of England, in St. Paul's Cathedral, in 
the same manner that the obsequies of Henry 11. of France 
and those of the emperor had formerly been celebrated there 
by her command. 

Elizabeth told the French ambassador that she had ''paid 
this respect to the memory of the Queen of Spain out of regard 
to her mother the Queen-regent of France, and her brother 
Charles IX.," and added, " that all Christendom had cause to 
weep for this princess, and that she herself bad listened with 

1 The litetanr world is indebted to the learning, researchi and industry of T. Pnrton 
Cooper, Esq., for the publication in modem French of tJus valuable contribution to the 
history of Queen Elizabeth, and her royal contemporaries of France and Scotland. 

3 See Life of Jane Seymour (S.). 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 249 

tears to the account which had been given of her virtues by 
the Countess of Feria, an English lady, formerly in her own 
service, who had recently come from Spain, and she doubted 
not but her late Majesty was now one of the brightest angels 
in heaven, having been a very holy queen on earth ; " and she 
prayed Monsieur de la Mothe to write to the Queen of France, 
'* that she had given orders for the said obsequies more than a 
month ago, although the Spanish ambassador had not thought 
proper to communicate the death of the queen to her, and 
that she had even sent to remind him that it was the custom 
on such an occasion to notify it officially, either by a letter or 
a gentleman sent express for the purpose." Fenelon said, "he 
imagined the Duke of Alva had the letter already in his hands 
for that purpose." Elizabeth coquettishly rejoined with a 
smile, " that she supposed the King of Spain did not wish to 
write to her, or rather that the Duke of Alva had detained the 
letter, under the notion that it was not quite decent that so 
soon after the death of the queen his wife, he should be sending 
letters to an unmarried girl, like her, but that she had waited 
still some days, and then ordered the obsequies for the deceased 
queen to be made." 

" I thanked her," says Monsieur de la Mothe Fenelon, " and 
only added that the King of Spain was still young enough to 
take a fourth wife." ^ 

Elizabeth was at that time on terms approaching to open 
hostility with Spain. She had opened her arms as a protectress 
to the fugitives of the reformed faith, whom the cruelties of the 
terrible Alva, in the Low Countries, had compelled to abandon 
their homes. The persecuted Hollanders fondly regarded her 
as the representative of her royal ancestress. Queen Philippa, 
one of the co-heiresses of William, Count of Holland and 
Hainault The first movements of the furious war which 
separated "those whom the rod of Alva bruised," from the 
crown of Spain, commenced in this year.^ 

Meantime, Elizabeth's ambassador at the court of Philip II., 
Dr. Man, whom she had not inaptly termed a man goose^ 
instead of attending to the business of his legation, had, in a fit 
of spiritual Quixotism, defied the Pope, in such undiplomatic 
terms of vituperation, that he was prohibited from appearing at 
the court of his Catholic Majesty, and banished to a very un- 
civilized village, where he was compelled to hear mass.' The 
English flag had also been insulted in the Gulf of Mexico, by 

1 Depfehes de la Mothe Fenelon, vol. i. 

S Lodge's Illiutnttiona, voL L p. 465. ' Camden. 

Digitized by VjOOQ iC 

250 Elizabeth 

the attack and capture of three ships in the fleet of the mer- | 
cantile adventurers, comnMinded by the famous — or, rather, we 
should say, the infamous Sir John Hawlrins, since he was the 
first man who brought the odious stain of the slave trade on 
tills nation — ^a traffic that to her eternal disgrace was sanctioned 
nay, even encouraged, by (^een Elizabeth. The high spirit of 
this princeis was greatly chafed at the twofold affront she and 
her subjects had received from Spain, nor was it long before 
she had an opportunity of making rerprisals. 

Four Spanish vessels bound to Flanders, laden with specie, 
were chased by French pirates into the ports of Plymouth, | 
Falmouth, and Southampton. Don Guerran d'Espes, the new 
Spanish ambassador, applied to the English government for ! 
further protection for these vessels, which was granted ; but the 
French adventurers having made a fnesh att?empt to seize the 1 
ships, the queen ordered the treasure to be brought to London, ! 
fcM: she had ascertained that it was the property of a company 
of Geiaoese merchants, who were about to establish a bank at 
Antwerp, and to assist Alva with a loan. No sooner did she 
uxid^stand this azzangement, than she determined to frustrate 
it, by appropriating the loan to her own use. lyEspes, in great 
anger, io£of med Alva, of the seizure of the money ; and Alva, 
exasperated at the disappointment, wrote a brief and peremp- 
tory letter to Elizabeth, demanding restitution. She replied, 
very coolly, " that she understood the treasure was private pro- 
perty, and had borrowed it ; but if the King of Spain could 
prove that it belonged to him, she would restore it." 

Aha retorted, by laying an embargo tm all English subjects ' 
and English property in Antwerp ; ^nd Elizabeth, not to be | 
outdone, put all the Spaniards in her dominions under arrest, 
not even excepting the person of the ambassador, whom she i 
constitutied a prisoner in his own house, and appointed three 
gentlemen of her court to keep guard over him.^ 

The French ambassador, Monsiecrr de la ^fothe, who visited 
Elizabetii a few days after these el^nts, giives the following 
amusing paiticulars of his ccȴversations with her at that 
period- "Her Majesty," says he, "was then at Hampton 
Court, and apparendy fidl of son'ow for the -death of Lady 
ElnoUys, her caosln, whom she loved better than all the women 
in the world ; notwkhstanding which, she favoured me with a 
gracious reception, and afber saying a few words expressive of 
the r^ret she felt ibr the loss of so good a relaidve^ observing 
that the moiuning habit which she had assumed could manifest 

^ Camden. Dep^ches de la Moth* Fendon. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 251 

but a small part of the greatoeEs of her grief, Bhe demanded 
mcantmentiy of xne the news.^' 

The ambassador proceeded to detail to her, matters of which 
she was dcubtiess as well, if not better informed than himself — 
namely, the recent movements cf the warring parties in France. 
On which she protested her great affection for the king, his 
master, and said, " she prayed God that -she might hear better 
news of his afiairs, than tihat whidi had been told her within the 
last two da^ which made her regret that his Majesty had 
despised base couosel, although U was but that of a woman, 
which she had given him, for the peace of his realm/' ^ 

She expressed herself sharply agednst the authors and 
fomenters of wars, saying, " that princes ought to pursue to the 
death ail such, as enemies to themselves, and pernicious to 
their states.'' Then she spoke of the Spanish ambassador, 
" who had," she said, " already kindled a war between his 
master's couatry, and hen ;" adding, that "she had been de- 
ceived in that personage, having always conmdered him as very 
holiest assd raodemte, aiKl could never have thought that, while 
she was treating so courteously with him on the aflfair of the 
Spanish mils, he had, by his letters (of which she had a copy) 
caused the seizure of the goods and persons of Ihe English, at 

Sae oomplained also, ^that he had written of her in a dif- 
ferent masmer from what he ought, he having named her 
Oriana,* in some of his letters ; at which she was so indignant, 
that, if he had been her subject, ^le would have pursued him 
with the utmost rigour of the law. The Duke of Alva had been 
too hasty in believing him ; and of him, the duke, she must 
say, that he had behaved both arrogantly aoid lightly ; arrogantly, 
in having only deigned to write her one little letter, which," 
pursues Monsieur de ia Mothe, " the said lady compared to a 
Valentine." An expression whidi one would scarcely have 
expected from the lips of this gpeat female sovereign, dming a 
grave political discussion with a foreign minister. 

His £xcd!kency, in his official report of the conversation, 
considers it necessary for Uie information of his royal master, 
tD subjoin die following explanation, in the form of a marginal 
note, after mentioning the woid "Valentine.** "This term, 
which the English employ, in the style familiar, answers exactly 
to our word 'fauief^ bilkt degaUanUrk*^ He then proceeds 

1 Dep&^cs de la MotSie Fen^ft. 

S Camden states that D'Espes had written some shameful libels of Elizabeth, under the 
title of AmadisOriana. 

Digitized by VjOOQ iC 

252 Elizabeth 

with Elizabeth's indignant description of the Duke of Alva's 
letter, which only contained four or five words of credence for 
the ambassador, and she said, "he had acted lightly, by 
executing on such trivial grounds, an act of open hostility 
against her subjects ; " adding, with some degree of scorn, 
" that the duke was neither so great, herself so little, or the 
affair so imimportant, but that he might have troubled himself 
to write more at length to her, and to have made proper 
inquiries before he attempted such an outrage against her and 
her subjects. She concluded by expressing a hope that the 
King of Spain would neither sanction what the Duke of Alva 
had done, nor that which his ambassador had written to 

La Mothe observed, as soon as he could get a word in, 
** that she ought to consider that the Duke of Alva was naturally 
irritated at the loss of the money, which was intended to pay 
his troops, who were likely to mutiny, if he did not make his 
disbursements with punctuality;" and facetiously reminded 
her, " that the King of Spain, being once more a widower, and 
in search of a suitable consort, would not for the world offend 
an unmarried princess like her ; neither, for the same cause, 
should she quarrel with him who was on that pursuit." 

She replied, with a smile, "that she could be very well 
assured of the friendship of the King of Spain, as she might 
have married him at the beginning of the war, if she had 
chosen." ^ 

La Mothe seriously remonstrated with her, on the rash step 
she had taken in arresting the Spanish ambassador, telling her, 
" that since God had established the kingdoms, and powers of 
the world, ambassadors had always been respected, and their 
persons held inviolate ; even in the midst of the fiercest wars, 
care had been taken not to touch them, or to treat their 
persons otherwise than honourably, that she had accepted this 
gentleman as the representative of a great king, and ought to 
be cautious in what she did with regard to him. Not," con- 
tinued La Mothe, "that he has requested me to plead for him, 
but because we both hold the like office towards your Majesty ; 
and therefore, I entreat that you will allow me to visit him, at 
least once a week, in the presence of gentlemen who have him 
in ward." 

She replied, " that seeing the terms on which D'Espes had 
been the means of placing her with the king, his master, she 
had taken measures for his protection, lest he should be 

1 Dep^hes de la Mothe Fenelon. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 253 

attacked; but she had merely confined him to his lodgings, 
under the guard of three gentlemen, whom she had commanded 
to bear themselves courteously towards him. That formerly, 
on a less occasion, her ambassador, Throckmorton, had been 
much worse treated in France." She then prayed La Mothe 
not to visit him for some days, because she would not be seen 
to approve or justify any of the evil he had done, by permitting 
him to be visited by a person who represented the King of 

This conversation took place on the 20th of January, 1568 ; 
on the 24th arrived an envoy from the Duke of Alva, named 
Assolveville, to enter into explanations with the queen, on the 
subject of the recent misunderstanding. Elizabeth was en- 
couraged by this indication of placability, to assume a more 
offensive attitude, and to show that she was prepared for war, 
and that she considered it was already commenced. Before 
Assolveville could present his credentials, she caused him to be 
arrested at Rochester, where he was detained two days, that he 
might see her grand arsenal, the activity of her military prepara- 
tions, and the great number of workmen, who were employed 
in biiilding her mighty ships of war at Chatham. She then had 
him conducted to London, separated him from all his people, 
and placed him in a lodging of her own providing, under a 
strict guard, without allowing him to see or speak to any one, 
much less the Spanish ambassador, with whom he was of course 
desirous of conferring, before he proceeded to open a negotiation 
with the queen.1 

Assolveville, guessing what the event would be, had 
previously written a letter to D'Espes, which he smu^led to 
him under cover to the French ambassador, and anoth^ 
addressed to Queen Elizabeth, requesting to be informed of the 
time and place, where he might present his credentials. This, 
however, was forcibly torn by Cecil, from the hand of the 
Spanish gentleman, who was waiting in the queen's presence- 
chamber for an opportunity of presenting it, warning him, 
rudely enough, not to be found there any more. The object 
of all this was, to compel the poor envoy to unfold his 
business to some of the council, before he had received his 
cue from his own ambassador, who was still a prisoner in his 
own house ; but Assolveville, with laudable obstinacy, refused 
to open his lips to any one, till he had communicated with 

Elizabeth, meantime, indited an elaborate letter to Philip IL, 

^ Dep^dies de la Motbc Feneloo. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

254 Elizabeth 

in Latin« in wh]ch» after commending herself for the care sdid 
had taken " to save his money from the pirates^ and put it out 
of danger," she imputed all that the Duke of Alva and his 
ambas^or had done, to the evil couns^ of those who would 
wish to see a breach in the amity and good iakh whkh had 
hitherto united them.^ 

Philipy however, assumed a ^gh tone, and approved of aM 
that had been done by Alva and D'Espes^ and demanded the 
restitution of his money, imder the threat of a war. Elizabeth 
was at that moment in an awkward predicament ; ^le had, by 
her mtrigues with the insurgents in Franee^ so embroiled hers^ 
with that government, that hostilities appeared inevitabk^ and, 
at the same time, a formidable rebelliai was organizing among 
tiie old Catholic nobility in her own realm^ whiiie her merchants 
loudly complained of the injury done to commerce by the 
seizm'es of English pn^er^, which had been heedlessly 
provoked in the ports of France and Spain. . 

In &ct, it appeared scarcely possible to avoid a war with both. 
Each sovereign complained of mutual grievances. EHabeth 
aided the Queen of Navarre incipiently, her subjects helped 
her c^nly, and this princess was virtually queen oi the aontih^ 
and of an the Protestants in France. The goldsmiths in 
England, it was supposed, had lent the Queen of Navarre 
money on her jewels ; and, after the disastrous battle of IdDonr 
contour, Elizabeth had offered, in case the King of France 
proved too strong for the Protestant caiuBe, to ghre refuge to her 
and her daughter Catherine, the Princess of Cond^ and her 
litde (Hies in England. 

On the other hand, the King of Fcance^ by way of reprisal, 
supported the partisans of Mary Queen of Scots^ who was 
regarded as the rightful queen by most of the Roman Catholics 
m the British Ishmds. 

On the loth of February, La Mothe Feodon, in. an amdienoe 
with Elizabeth, informed her, that a gentlennn, in the service 
of the Queen of Scots, had complained to him of the rigour 
with wluch his royal mistress had been treated, on her compul- 
sory removal from Bolton to Tutbury. His Excellency, with 
manly plainness, reiHesented ^'that those who advised her 
Majesty to put constraint, not only on the will, but the royal 
person of a sovereign and her kinswoman, mside her do a wrong 
to her own reputation." He then besought her " to cause the 
Scottish queen to be treated in such a manner, in the place 
where she had compelled her to go, that she mig^ have 

1 Dcptekesde la Mothe Feneloa, vol. L 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 255 

occasion to speak of her wilii praase in her letters to the King 
and Queen of France," * 

Elizabeth replied, with some choler, " that she had neither 
used force nor violence to the Que^i of Scotland, having 
merely removed her to a place where she would be better 
treated t^an at Bolton, where all the necessaries of life were 
scarce*" She also gave, as a reason for what she had done, 
that Mary had written into Scotland a letter which had iaJlen 
into her hands,, reqmring some of the lords of her country to 
take up arms and make an inroad to where she was at Bolton 
— that she had, in the same letter, accused her of having treated 
with the Earl of Murray to have him declared l^timst^ with 
several other things equally false. 

Elizabeth tcdd La Mothe, that he might assure their Majesties 
of France, that the Queen of Scots Deceived nothing else but 
good treatment at her hands, and altliough it was not for her to 
render account to any person in the world for her mictions, it 
was her wish to justify herself to all the wockl ia respect to her 
usage of the Queen d Scots, that all other princes might know 
that she proceeded with such recti4ude that she had no cause 
to change her pale hue for anything that could be brought 
against her on that accocmt '^ Would to God," added she, 
" that the Queen of Scots had no more occasion to blush at 
that which could be seen of her." 

La Mothe replied, "that her Majesty had it in her power to 
convince the world of the unprincipled ambition of the adver- 
saries of the said lady, and to explain all that they could urge 
against her ; and if she acted as the duty of queen to queen, 
and relation to relation prescribed, it would prove that she was 
innocent of all the unkindness that had been imputed to her." 

Elizabeth, instead of making any direct reply to this home 
stroke, m«:ely observed, " that she had never had any praise 
from the Queen of Scots for any of the good offices she had 
rendered her,'*^ and then turned the conversation to the subject 
of Rouen, and the seizure that had been made of EngHsh 
property by the French government. 

" On another occasion," says La Mothe, "she told me that 
she had taken pains to be more than a good mother to the 
Queen of Scots, yet she, on the contrary, had continually 
practised intrigues in her kingdom against her, and that those 
who did not know how to behave to a good mother, merited 
no other than the cruellest step-dame. She then summoned 
her council and the Bishop of Ross, to whom she recited in 

1 Dep^ches de la Motbe Fenelbn, toL L p. x88. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 



French most of what I had told her, and the reply she had 
made me. Then she uttered in English many complaints of 
the Queen of Scots ; and in conclusion, menaced the most 
active, and the greatest among them, with being made shorter 
by the head."i 

The fierce jealousy which had been excited in Elizabeth 
against Mary Stuart by the assumption of the royal arms and 
style of England in her name, by her ambitious father-in-law, 
Henry II. of France, was not the only cause of the enmity of 
that queen. There was a still deeper root of bitterness in this 
matter, for Henry II. had obliged his young daughter-in-law, 
during a dangerous fit of sickness, to sign a testamentary paper 
bequeathing her rights to the Kingdom of Scotland, and her 
claims on the succession of England — if she died without 
children — to his heirs. Queen Elizabeth became fully aware 
that such instruments existed in the year 1568-9, and discussed 
the point with the French ambassador. La Mothe Fenelon ; ^ 
she likewise wrote to Mary the following letter, which she 
commences with insincere professions of her grief for Mary's 
dangerous illness just before : — 

Elizabeth Queen of England to the Queen of Scots.' 

" May as, 1569. 

** To my infinite regret I have learned the great danger in which you 
have lately been, and I praise God that I heard nothing of it until the 
worst was past ; for, in whatever time or place it might have been, such 
news could have given me little content ; but if any such bad accident 
had befallen you in this country, I believe, really, I should have deemed 
my days prolonged too long, if, previous to death, I had received such a 

** I rely much on His goodness who has always guarded me against mal- 
accidents, that He will not permit me to fall into such a snare, and that He 
will preserve me in the good report of the world till the end of my career. 
He nas made me know, by your means, the grief I might have felt if 
anything ill had happened to you ; and I assure you, that I will offer up to 
Him infinite thanksgivings. 

" As to the reply that you wish to receive by my Lord Boyd, regarding 
my satisfaction in the case touching the Duke of Anjou,^ I neither doubt 
your honour nor your faith, in writing to me that you never thought of such 
a thing, but that perhaps some relative,** or rather some ambassador of yours 
having the general authority of your signature, to order all things for the 

1 La Mothe Fenelon^ vol. ii. p. 169. 

2 At the end of vol. 1. of the Despatches of La Mothe Fenelon, all these documents are 

8 Translated from vol. il ^p. S9, 60, Despatches of La Mothe Fenelon. Elizabeth's 
letter seems to have been origmally composed in French. 

* This was the cession supposed to have been made by Mary to Anjou. 

B Meaning her mother, Mary of Guise, Queen-regent of Scotland, or the Regent 

Digitized by VjOOglC 

Elizabeth 257 

furtherance of your affairs, had adjusted this promise as if it came from you, 
and deemed it within the range of his commission. 

" Such a matter would serve as a spur to a courser of high mettle; for as 
we often see a little bough serve to save the life of a swimmer, so a slight 
shadow of claim animates the combatant I know not why they {fhe royal 
family of France) consider not, that the bark of your good fortune floats on 
a dangerous sea, where many contrary winds blow, and has need of all aid 
to obviate such evils, and to conduct you safely into port. And if so be they 
are able to serve you in aught, still you can in honour deny the intention 
{of transferring her rights to young Anjou;) for if this right abides in 
them, then to me pertains the wrong. 

'* Forasmuch I entreat you to have such consideration for me, (to whom 
the like right only pertains, who have merited, on your part, true guerdon 
and honourable opinion,) with such deeds as may preserve the true accord 
of harmony with mine, who, in all my actions towards you, will never fail 
of right dealing. 

" Howbeit, this bearer will declare to you more amply what I wish in this 
case. Moreover, if you desire some reply as to the commission given to my 
Lord Ross (the bishop ofJRoss), I believe that you forget how near it touches 
me if I tamper with aught that I am satisfied touches your honour and my 
safety. Meantime, I will not fatigue you with this letter longer than that, 
with my cordial commendations, I pray God to preserve you in good health, 
and give you long life. From Greenwich." * 

This letter is certainly one of the most remarkable ever 
penned by Elizabeth. The reader will observe her recurrence, 
in the midst of her caresses, to the leading object of her thoughts, 
perpetual jealousy of her title. 

Mary willingly executed the instrument required, and, at her 
request the Duke of Anjou renounced any benefit he might 
hereafter have claimed from the deed of cession extorted from 
the youthful Mary by his sire ; but, after all, the cession had 
never been made to him in particular, but to the heirs of 
Henry II. Charles IX. was, therefore, the party by whom the 
grant should have been renounced. As Mary did all that 
Elizabeth required of her, this was the precise point where 
good policy should have prompted Elizabeth to permit Mary's 
retirement from England. She ought by that time to have per- 
ceived the profound mistake she had committed By detaining 
her in the heart of England, where she served, as a rallying 
point to every seditious movement. Elizabeth ought to have 
recollected, that in the height of Mary's prosperity, when backed 
by all the power of France, and living at Paris as Queen Consort, 
and Queen Regnant of Scotland, no injury had been effected 
to England. It was not probable that Mary could do more 

1 La Mothe Fenelon states the highly curious fact, that the pomt of the cession, Mary 
Queen of Scots had hcen supposed to have made of her kingdom to the Duke of Anjou, 
was first inquired into in parhament by the Duke of Norfolk, ostensibly on account of the 
public benefit, but with a secret regard to his own interest, as he was engaged to marry 


by Google 

258 Elizabeth 

against her, if she had sufifered her to retire tQ France, blighted 
as she was now by calumny and ill health, and dethconed from 
her realm. 

The glory of Elizabeth's reign was dimmed from the hour 
Mary was detained a prisoner, not only in a moral sense, but, 
politically and statistically speaking, it was a false step, which 
placed England in an incipient state of civil war, during the 
whole life of the Queen of Scots, and she became, with good 
cause, jealous of her own subjects, even those among her 
nobility who were most nearly connected with herself by the 
ties of blood. 

On one occasion, she observed, significantly, "that as long 
as the Duke of Norfolk lived, the Queen of Scots would never 
want an advocate." On the return of Norfolk from the Scotch 
conferences, she had given him a very ungracious reception, in 
consequence of the reports that had been conveyed to her by 
the persons who had first of all suggested to him the flattering 
chimera of a marriage with the Scottish queen. Norfolk entered 
into the subject with his sovereign, and told her, " that the 
project had not originated with him, and that he never had 
given it any encouragement. **But would you not/" said 
Elizabeth, "marry the Scottish queen, if you knew that k 
would tend to the tranquillity of the realm, and the safety of 
my person ? " 

If Norfolk had not been deficient in moral courage, he 
would have replied, frankly, *' that if her Majesty were disposed 
to rtlunk so, he would be ready to conform to her wish, but 
that he had already assured Murray, and the others who had 
suggested this marriage to him, that it was a matter in which 
he could not engage himself without the consent of his 
sovereign." He, however, knew the deep dissimulation pf 
EGzabeth, and suspecting that it was her design to entangle 
him in his talk, replied, with answering insincerity, " Madam, 
that woman shall never be my wife who has beeo your com- 
petitor, and whose husband cannot sleep in security on his 
pillow." 1 This artful allusion to the injurious reports against 
Mary's honour, though most unworthy of the man who was 
secretly pledged to become her husband, had the desired effect 
of lulling Elizabeth's suspicions to sleep, and restoring her to 
good humour* She had, Jiowever, ere long, sufficient reason 
to be convinced that the enamoured duke was every day 
involvin|; himself more deeply in the snares, which were 
thrown in his way by those, who were temotipg him to his 

1 Haynes. Lingard. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 259 

ruin, by their pretended schemes for the acoonaplishment of 
his wishes.^ 

Elizabeth's great dread, in the perilous year for Protestantism, 
1569, was a Catholic coalition throughout Europe in behalf of 
her royal prisoner, Mary Queen of Scots. Ireland was in a 
state of revolt, the northern counties progressing to the same j 
the Protestant cause h4d received two severe blows, the retreat 
of the Prince of Orange, and the victory of the Duke of Anjou 
at Jamac. Jealousy between the courts of France and Spain 
had proved her safeguard hitherto, but there was a prospect 
of a new bond of union, in the propqsed marriages of 
Charles IX, and Philip II. with the daughters of the Emperor 

Elizabeth thought it possible to prevent this brotherly alliance 
by a little coquetry, on her own account, with Charles IX. 
Her hand had been twice solicited by the plenipotentiaries of 
that prince^ and she had declined because of his tender youth. 
His Majesty was now really marriageable, though much too 
young to be a suitable consort for her ; yet she might, without 
committing herself too deeply, contrive to lure him from his 
imperial fiande, Catherii^e de Medicis' favourite project was 
to marry her second son, the Duke of Anjou, to Elizabeth ; 
and that able intriguer. La Mothe Fenelon, had instructions 
to bring this matter to pass, if possible. With this design 
constantly in view, the conversations between him and her 
Majesty of England invariably turned to the subject of 

The conference in which Elizabeth threw out her first lure 
for the young King of France, as related by Ia Mothe, has 
almost dramatic interest, ThQ queen began by asking news 
of the mar^riages between Charl^ IX. and Philip of Spain 
with the daughters of the emperor, which appeared to give her 
uneasiness. La Mothe fully exemplified Sir Henry Wotton's 
character of an amb^i^ssador, whom he defined to " be a person 
sent to lie abros^d for the service of his country," for he denied 
any knowledge of his master's intended marriage, Elizabeth 
told him " that she bad heard for certain that the marriages 
were concluded," and repeated the eulogiums she had heard 
"of the fine stature and martial appearance of Charles and 

1 -Mitt Aikia h»8 very finely obseracd, with regard to the habitual dissimidulon of 
Eluabetby and her coateovK>rary pf e^ memory, Catherine de Medicis, "diat in 
mistaking tha excess of falsdiood for the perfection of address, the triumphs of cunning 
for the master-pieces of public wisdom, they did but partake the error of the ablest male 
politicians pf that a^e of statesmen. The same narrow views of the inter^t of princes 
and of states ^<ii'T^ttM& theni idl. They seem to have believed that the right and the 
expedient were constantly opposed to eadi other.*' 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

26o Elizabeth 

his brother, and of their vigorous constitutions and excellent 
dispositions ;i how Charles IX., in martial bearing and skill 
in horsemanship, resembled Henry II., his father, who was 
the most accomplished warrior of any prince in his times; 
and that his brother had exchanged all his boyish diversions 
at court for heroic and difficult enterprises, and that everybody 
wonderfully commended him." She concluded this flourish 
by observing, "that as the Princess of Portugal * had been 
proposed as a match, first to the king, and afterwards to Anjou, 
she herself could not be considered as too old." 

" I told her," said La Mothe Fenelon,' **that all the world 
stood amazed at the wrong she did to the grand endowments 
that God had given her of beauty, wisdom, virtue, and exalted 
station, by refusing to leave fair posterity to succeed her. It 
was a duty she owed to God, who had given her power of 
choice, to elect some partner, and that she could not find a 
prince more worthy of such distinction, than one of the three 
sons of the late King of France, Henry II. The eldest of them 
was the true successor of his father, the second, royal in all 
conditions, excepting being crowned, and the third would, 
without doubt, in time be equal to his brethren." This last 
was the young Alengon, to whom Elizabeth was almost married 
when she was many years older ; but the point, to which all 
this expert flattery tended, was to persuade her to wed the hand- 
same Duke of Anjou. Elizabeth pretended to discuss the 
possibility of wedding the elder of these much-lauded princes, 
and, for the purpose of eliciting a stronger dose of flattery from 
the ambassador, replied, " That the king, Charles IX., would 
none of her, for he would be ashamed to show, at an entry into 
Paris, a queen for his wife so old as she was, and that she was 
not of an age to leave her country, like the Queen of Scots, who 
was taken young to France." 

The ambassador replied, " If such a marriage <:ould happen, 
then would commence the most illustrious lineage that had 
been known for the last thousand years : but that previously 
she had been objecting to the age of his king, and now she was 
finding fault with her own. Meantime, she had so well spent 
her years, that time had carried away none of her beauties ; 
while King Charles and the Duke of Anjou had so well profited 
by time, that they had acquired beauty, strength, and stature, 
so that no men could be more perfect. And the king certainly 

1 Dep^che de la Mothe Fenelon. 

s The Princess of Portugal was daughter of Emanuel the Great, King of Portugal, and 
Leonora of Austria, queen of Francis I^ She must have been bom before 1535. 
3 La Mothe Fenelon, voL ii. pp. xx8, 1x9. 

Digitized by VjOOg IC 

Elizabeth 261 

ought to desire the Queen of England to make her entry into 
Paris as his wife, for it was there she would be the most 
honoured, most welcome, and most blessed by all the good 
people and nobility of France ; and if she suffered with passing 
the sea, nevertheless she would find it a most happy voyage, 
from which she would ultimately receive great pleasure and 

At the time of uttering this flourish, the ambassador was as 
well convinced as the queen herself, that Charles IX. was 
almost married to Elizabeth, the youngest daughter of the 

** I know not," rejoined Elizabeth, " if the queen (Catherine 
de Medicis) would approve of it, for it is possible she might 
choose to have a daughter-in-law whom she might mould to 
her pleasure." 

" I know," answered the ambassador, " that the queen- 
mother is so benign, and of such humane and gracious conver- 
sation, that nothing in the world would be more agreeable than 
for you to be together: witness the honour and respect in 
whidi she has always held the Queen of Scotland, and that she 
now bears to her." 

When this interview was over, Cecil came to discuss with him 
the projected marriage of the King of Spain with the eldest 
daughter of the emperor. " I was far enough from giving him 
a hint respecting the marriage of the youngest," ^ added the 
ambassador, ''but declared I would treat with him touching 
another marriage, which would be the most apropos in the 
world for the aggrandizement of two realms, and for the 
universal peace of Christianity." 

A future day was then appointed for Queen Elizabeth to 
receive another repast of these frothy compliments. The 
French ambassador subjoined to his despatches a dissertation 
on the queen's real intentions regarding marriage, and it is cer- 
tain the result bore out his view of the subject " It is the 
general opinion," he wrote, "that Queen Elizabeth will never 
marry ; but when her subjects press her to name her successor, 
she meets the inccmvenient proposal by a feigned intention of 
entering into. some marriage she never means to conclude;" 
and he brought, as an instance, the late futile negotiation 
regarding the Aitdiduke Charles. 

The Earl of Arundel, who had been for many years a suitor 
for the hadd of Queen Elizabeth, made no scruple of declaring, 
that the intimacy between her and the Earlof Leicester was the 

1 Elizabeth oC Austria, soon after married to Charles IX. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

262 Elizabeth 

reason of her refusing all her suitors, whether they were fordgn 
princes or English peers. This greAt noble, according to tha 
report of the French ambassador,^ instigated his son-in-law, the 
Duke of Norfolk, to call Leicester to a sharp account for 
familiarities with the queen, which they affirmed disgraced them 
all, as Englishmen, as well the crown she wore, and that neither I 
the English nobility nor her subjects in general would permit 
the continuance of such proceedings. They then taxed , 
Leicester with using his privilege of entrhe into tne queen's bed- j 
chamber unbecomingly, affirming that he went there befctt)^ she 
rose, and that he took upon himself the office of her lady in 
waiting, by handing to her a garment which ought never to have 
been seen in the hands of her master of horse. Moreover they 
charged him with "kissing her Majesty when he was not 
invited, thereto," j 

It is very evident that the first queens-regnant of England 
had manjr officers in attendance in their private apartments, the 
same as if they had been kings ; and in this instance the fault j 
found was, not that Leicester had the right of mtrU into the ' 
royal sleeping apartment, but that he used it at improper times, 
and took freedoms which the premier duke and the premier 
earl of England, deemed derogatory to the decorum which 
ought to be observed towards the female sovereign of their 
country. They proceeded to exhort Leicester " to be candid, 
and say if the queen really wished to marry him, and then they 
would both unite their influence with the nobility and the rest 
of the nation to sanction their honourable union, and stc^ all 
this scandal.** 

Leicester, the arrogant Leicester, seems to have assumed the 
humble tone of a chidden inferior to these two great peers. He 
thanked them Both for their offer and for their warning ; he 
acknowledged "that the queen had shewn him such good 
affection, as had emboldened him to use some well-intentioned 
familiarities, in the hope of espousing her;" he assured the 
Duke of Norfolk " that he had, by this offer of assistance, laid 
him under the greatest obligation in the world, and at the same 
time had done his duty well to the queen attd the Crown, as a 
faithful vassal and councillor ought, and during the remainder 
of his life he would never forget the same." Neither, according 
to Bishop Goodman, did he ever forget that Norfolk had once 
bestowed on him a box on the ear. 

Till Norfolk subsequently lain his head on the block, there 
is little doubt this conversation was duly remembered by 

* La Mothe Fendon, voL il pt no. ^ t 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 263 

Leicester, as well as the unlucky box on the ear. He assuredly 
understood the intentions oi Norfolk and Arundel as well 
as they did themselves. Arundel had long wooed Qoeen 
Elizabeth ; Norfolk, who had previously married his heiress^ 
was the father of a son, who was, at the same time, heir oir 
Arundel, and a mutual bond between them ; Norfolk was a 
widower, and the secret suitor of Mary Queen of Scots. Thus 
a strong family compact already existed between these noble- 
men, the two greatest of the ancient English aristocracy ; and 
if the earl wedded Queen Elizabeth, the actual possessor of the 
English crown, and the duke the Queen of Scotland, and 
heiress of the whole island, they might well deem that their 
united strength might have defied the sons of little men, whom 
the Tudor monarchs had called from the shears and the forge^ 
to guide the civil and religious government of England. 

As for Leicester's freedoms in the chamber of the queen, 
there is no reason for implicit belief that they ever occurred, 
merely because we find them in a French ambassador's despatch ; 
but that such were the current reports at the English court is 
indubitable ; and when the intentions of Norfolk and his father- 
in-law, Arundel, in regard to the marriages they projected with 
Queen Elizabeth and her captive heiress, are considered, the 
fact that they held this conversation widi the &vourite, and 
taxed him with the scandals circulatii^ at court, becomes 
highly probable, and is in consonance with other facts, idiich 
are narrated by eye-witnesses^ both as to her past and future 

It was the policy of the two great nobles, Norfolk and 
Arundel, to clear their path of the favourite, as a matrimonial 
pretender to the hand of Elizabeth ; and, according to La 
Mothe's letter, this measure was speedily effected. ''Some 
days after,*' he resumes, ** the said lady (meaning Queen Eliza- 
beth), being earnestly pressed to declare her intentions 
respecting the Earl of Leicester, resolutely answered, *that she 
pretended not to marriage with him.' Since tiiis rq>ly, both 
have conducted themselves more modestly, and he his with- 
drawn the expensive parade he made while he had hopes of 
success in his enterprise." 

Perhaps Elizabeth was far more incensed, at this forced 
edatrcissement of her intentions, than Leicester. Although 
she did not intend to bring their courtship to the serious 
termination of matrimony, she evidently liked Leicester to 

1 See various passages in Melville's Memoirs, already quotftd, regardibf Elizabeth's 
behaviour to Leicester. ^ , 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 




flutter about her as a declared pretender to her hand. On the 
contrary, he wished to be at liberty to marry, which he after- 
wards did, and was, withal, suffering cruelly in his property, 
from the gorgeous display he was expected to keep up at court 
while he sustained the character of the queen's suitor, whom 
her realm expected, hourly, she would declare to be her spouse. 
There are very evident indications that for some time subse- 
quent to this crisis, occasional agitating scenes passed between 
the queen and Leicester, while the endless negqtiations for her 
marriage with Anjou were proceeding. Leicester, in one of 
his letters to Walsingham, then ambassador at Paris, declares 
that his queen was in good health, " save some sp'ce, or show, 
of hysteric fits. These fits did not trouble her more than a 
quarter of an hour, yet this little in her hath bred strange 
bruits (gossip) here at home. God send her, I beseech him, a 
long life." 1 

The treachery of Leicester's conduct with regard to the 
Duke of Norfolk, and the other noblemen he had been the 
means of drawing into the snare he had planned for their 
destruction, by his pretended desire of the marriage of Norfolk 
to the Queen of Scots, appears a dark picture of the principles 
of Elizabeth's cabinet. Leicester had a twofold object in view 
— the destruction of his great enemy, Sussex, as well as that of 
Norfolk. Sussex, who was related in the same degree by his 
mother. Lady Elizabeth Howard, to Norfolk and to the queen, 
had undoubtedly favoured the idea of a marriage between 
Norfolk and the Queen of Scots ; but when he found the dan- 
gerous tendency of some of the ramifications of the plot, he 
recoiled from it, as inconsistent with his duty to his sovereign.^ 
Elizabeth was, at first, incensed against him, but though not 
honest herself either in word or deed, she knew how to estimate 
those who were, and finally confided to. her plain-dealing kins- 
man the command of the forces appointed to quell the northern 

Leicester had encouraged the duke to hope for the accom- 
plishment of his wishes by undertaking to obtain the queen's 
consent, but put off, from day to day, mentioning the matter ; 
Cecil observing the perplexity of the duke, advised him to seek 
her Majesty, and reveal to her the matter he had on his mind, 
whatever it might be. If Norfolk could have resolved to do 
this, it would probably have saved his life ; but instead of act- 
ing without delay on this judicious advice, he sought counsel 

1 Complete Ambftssador, Letter of th« Earl ot* Leicester, p. a88. 
s See Memorials of the Northern RebdlloD, by Sir C Sharps 

Digitized by VjOOg IC 

Elizabeth 265 

of Leicester, who dissuaded him from that course, and promised 
to name it to her Majesty, the next time she went to walk in 
the fields. Norfolk himself records, " that when the court was 
at Guildford, he came unaware into the queen's privy chamber, 
and found -her Majesty sitting on the threshold of the door, 
listening with one ear to a little child, who was singing and 
playing on the lute to her, and with the other to Leicester, who 
was kneeling by her side." ^ The duke, a little confused, no 
doubt at interrupting a party so conveniently arranged, drew 
back ; but her Majesty bade him enter. 

Soon after Leicester rose, and came to Norfolk, leaving the 
queen listening to the child, and told him, " that he was deal- 
ing with the queen in his behalf when he approached ; " to 
which the simple peer responded, " If I had known so much, I 
would not have come up;" and eagerly inquired, "how he 
found her Majesty disposed?" Leicester replied, "Indif- 
ferently well;" adding, "that the queen had promised to 
speak to him herself at Thomham, at my Lord of Arunders." 
" Before her Highness came to Thomham," says Norfolk, " she 
commanded me to sit down, most unworthy, at her Highness's 
board, where at the end of dinner her Majesty gave me a nip, 
sa3ring, *that she would wish me to take good heed to my 

Like many of Elizabeth's bon mots, this sharp innuendo cut 
two ways, conveying as it did a threat of the block, and 
a sarcastic allusion to the unworthy expression he had con- 
descended to use, when endeavouring to persuade her that he 
had no intention of becoming the husband of the Scottish 

Then followed the contemptible farce of Leicester's feigned 
sickness at Tichfield, and his message to the queen that he 
could not die in peace without confessing his faults, and 
obtaining her pardon for his guilt. Elizabeth hastened to 
his bedside, and he acknowledged with many sighs and tears, 
how deeply he had sinned against her, by being privy to a 
design of marrying her foe, the Queen of Scots, to the Duke 
of Norfolk ; ^ and under pretence of making a clear conscience, 
put her into possession of the whole of the circumstances of 

1 The Duke of Norfolk's Confession, State Paper MSS. 

8 State Paper MSS. The words that historians have generally imputed to Elizabeth, 
on this occasion, are—" That she advised him to beware on what pillow he rested his 
bead ; ** bat the above is from Norfolk'^ own confession, and doubtless, his Tersion is the 
true one. The man in whose ear that ominous warning was spoken by his offended sove- 
reign, was not likely to make any mistake in repeating them. They " nipped " too closely 
to be forgotten. 

S Camden. 

Digitized by (Ec^Ogle 

266 Elizabeth 

die plot, in which many of the principal nobles of the realm 
were implicated. 

There was no proof, however, that any attempt against 
either the life or government of Elizabeth was contemplated ; 
it was simply a plan for the restoration of Mary to liberty, and 
royal dignity, by becoming the wife of the great Protestant 
English peer, whom her own rebels of the reformed faith had 
first solicited to unite himself with her.^ The treacherous 
Leicester, probably led Elizabeth to suppose that much more 
was intended. The next time her Majesty saw the duke, she 
called him to her in the gallery, and sharply reprimanded him 
for presuming to attempt a match with the Queen of Scots 
without her cognizance, and commanded him on his allegiance, 
to give over these pretensions. The duke promised to do so, 
and proudly added, "that his estate in England was worth 
little less than the whole realm of Scotlapd, in the ill state to 
which the wars had reduced it ; and that when he was in his 
own tennis-court at Norwich, he thought himself as great as 
a king." 2 

The next day the queen refused the suit of the Spanish 
ambassador, for the liberation of her royal prisoner, observing, 
at the same time, "that she would advise the Queen of Scots 
to bear her condition with less impatience, or she might chance 
to find some of those on whom she relied, shorter by the 

Norfolk now found his situation at court intolerable. The 
queen regarded him with looks of anger and disdain, and 
Leicester and all his former associates treated him with studied 
insolence. He endeavoured to avoid collision with those who 
sought to force a quarrel, by returning with his father-in-law, 
the Earl of Arundel, and the Earl of Pembroke^ first to 
London, and afterwards to his princely seat at Kenninghall, in 
Norfolk, whence he wrote an apologetic letter to the queen, 
attributing his departure " to the pain he felt at her displeasure, 
and his mortification at the treatment to which he had been 
subjected by the insolence of his foes, by whom he had been 
made a common table talk."* 

The queen sent a peremptory order for his return to court, 
which the duke obeyed, and was arrested by her order at 
Bumham, three miles from Windsor, and committed to the 
Tower, He was subjected to an examination before Lord 
Keeper Bacon, Northampton, Sadler, Bedford, and Cecil ; but 

1 Howard Memorials. Camden. Haynes. * 

S Camden. > Ibid. ^ Howard Memorial 


by Google 

Elizabeth 267 

they reported to her Majesty that the duke had not put him- 
self under the penalty of the law, hy any overt act of treason, 
and that it would be difficult to convict him without this. 

" Away ! " she replied ; " what the law fails to do, my 
authority shall effect" Her rage was so ungovernable that 
she fell into a fit, and they were forced to apply vinegar and 
other stimulants to revive her.^ 

The Queen of Scots naturally felt the ill effects of the 
treachery of her supposed friend, Leicester. His denounce- 
ments placed her, as well as her friends, in a most perilous 
position ; and the Earl of Huntingdon, Leicester's brother-in- 
law, the immediate descendant of George, Duke of Clarence, 
and, like all of that line, a covert pretender to the regal suc- 
cession, was associated with the Earl of Shrewsbury, in the 
ungracious office of gaoler to the royal captive. Mar/s terror 
at this appointment is described in a lively manner in the 
letters written by her at this period, and also her distress of 
mind at the peril to which Norfolk was exposed for her sake ; * 
but the details belong to her life, and not to that of Elizabeth, 
who must perforce, occupy the foreground of her own history. 

The arrest of Norfolk precipitated the disastrous rising in 
the North, under the luckless Earls of Northumberland and 
Westmoreland.' The re-establishment of Catholicism in Eng- 
land, was the object of this insurrection; and it may be 
regarded as a second part to that ebullition of misdirected zeal 
and patriotism, the Pilgrimage of Grace, six and thirty years 
before ; and it is a curious fact, that the persons engaged in 
the Northern Rebellion, were the sons of those who figured as 
pilgrims. Wordsworth, in a few of his graceful lines, appears 
to have given a very clear and correct view of the case. No 
apology can be required for quoting them, pleasingly illus- 
trative as they are of the period in question : — 

** It was the time when England's queen 
Twelve years had reign*d a spvereign dread, 
Nor yet the restless crown had been 
Disturbed upon her vir^n head. 
But now the lAly working North 
Was ripe to a^nd it» thousands forth, 
A potent vassalage to fight, 
In Percy's and in Neville's right. 

1 Despatches of La Mothe Peneloa. 

S Sec Mary Queen of Soou' LeUeis, edited by Miss Strickland. 

s For the particolanof thb insurrection, compiled from inedited documents, the reader 
is referred to the " Memorials of the Northern Rebellioa," by Sir Cathbert Sharp, a most 
valuable contribution to the history of Elisabeth's reign. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

268 Elizabeth 

Two earls fast leajjued in discontent, 

Who gave their wishes open vent, 

And boldly urged a general plea^ 

The rites of ancient piety. 

To be triumphantly restored, 

By the dread justice of the sword." * 

Mary Stuart, as the Catholic heiress of the crown, and excit- 
ing by her beauty and misfortunes, her persecutions and her 
patience, the deepest interest among the chivahy of the north, 
who were chiefly professors of the same creed, was the watch- 
word and leading point of the association. Whether the plot 
was fomented by her is doubtful. It has, however, been generally 
supposed, that Shakespeare's mysterious lines, in the Mid- 
summer Night's Dream, imply, " that some seductions had been 
used by the captive queen to charm the northern magnates 
from their duty to their own sovereign : * — 

** Once I sat upon a promontory, 
And heard a mermaid on a dolphin's back. 
Uttering such dulcet and harmonious breath, 
That the rude sea grew dvil at her song, 
And certain stars shot madly from their spheres. 
To hear the sea maid's music." 

The rebel earls entered Durham in warlike array, November 
14th ; Richard Norton, of Norton Conyers, who had married 
the sister of Queen Katharine Parr's second husband, Neville, 
Lord Latimer, a hoary-headed gentleman, aged seventy-one, 
bore the banner of the cross before the insurgents. 

" The Nortons ancient had the cross, 
And the five wounds our Lord did bear.** 

The principal exploits of the misguided multitude, who 
followed this banner, consisted in burning the translations of 
the Scriptures and the liturgies, in all the towns they passed 
through. They had neither plan, order, nor money, to main- 
tain themselves in the rash position they had assumed. A few 
days sufficed the Earl of Sussex to crush the insurrection. The 
two earls fled ; Northumberland to Scotland, where, falling into 
the hands of Murray, he was sold to the English government, 

1 White Doe of Rylstone, or the Fate of the Nortons. 

S The real cause of Northumberland's disafiection, is attributed by Camden to the 
appropriation of a rich copper mine by Elizabeth, which had been discovered ujpoo his 
estate in Cumberland, Westmoreland's wife. Lady Jane Howard, the daughter of Surrey, 
and sister of Mary's afSanced husband Norfolk, was one of the mont beautiful, learned, 
and accomplished ladies of that age, and probably influenced her weak husband to espouse 
the cause of Mary, although she was herself a sealous Protestant, having be«n, like her 
brother, the pupil of the historian of the Reformation, Fox. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 269 

and brought to the block; Westmoreland took refuge in Flanders, 
and died in exile.^ 

The calamities of the Percys, Nortons, Dacres, and Nevilles, 
and other noble ancient families, who took part in this dis- 
astrous rising, inspired some of the noblest historical ballads, 
and metrical romances in our language. Elizabeth herself be- 
came malignly poetical on the occasion, and perpetrated the 
following sonnet, as it is styled : — 

" The doubt of future foes exiles my present joy, 
And wit me warns to shun such snares as threaten mine annoy. 
For falsehood now doth flow, and subjects' faith doth ebb, 
Which would not be if Reason ruled, or Wisdom wove the web ; 
But clouds of toys untried do cloak aspiring minds, 
Which turn to rain of late repent, by course of changed winds. 
The top of hope, supposed, Uie root of ruth will be ; 
And fruitless all their grafted guiles, as ye shall shortly see. 
These dazzled eyes with pride, which great ambition blinds, 
Shall be unsealed by worthy wights, whose foresight fiUsehood binds. 
The daughter of debate, that eke discord doth sow, 
Shall reap no gain, where former rule hath taught still peace to grow. 
No foreign banishM wight shall anchor in this port ; 
Our realm it brooks no stranger's force, let them elsewhere resort ; 
Our rusty sword with rest shall first his edge employ, 
To poll their tops that seek such change, and gape for joy."' 

Elizabeth made good the threats with which this unfeminine 
effusion concludes; for, besides the executions of such of the 
leaders of the rebellion as fell into her hands, she compelled 
her victorious general, Sussex, to deluge the northern counties 
with the blood of the simple, unreflective peasants, who had 
been induced to join the revolt. The learned research of Sir 
Cuthbert Sharp, has brought to light some hideous facts, in the 
contemporary documents preserved among the Bowes MSS.* 
Staunch, indeed, must be the admirers of good Queen Bess, 
who can calmly peruse the following order for the hangings in 
Richmondshire, without a shudder : — 

The Earl op Sussex to Sir Georgb Bowes, 
"sir george bowes, 

" I have set the numbers to be executed down in every town, as 
I did in your other book, which draweth near to two hundred ; wherein 
you may use your discretion in taking more or less in every town, 
as you shall see just cause for the offences and fitness for example ; 
so as, in the whole, you pass not of all kind of such the number of two 
hundred, amongst whom you may not execute any that hath freeholds, 

1 Memorials of the Northern Rebellion, by Sir C Sharp. 

S Puttenham's Art of Poetry, published in Elizabeth's own reign. 

> Published in the '* Memorials of the Northern Rebellion," by Sir C Sharp. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

270 Elizabeth 

or noted wealthy, for so is the queen's majesty's pleasure. Bj her spedsl 
commandment, loth of January, 1569-70. 

*• T. SUSSBX," 

Under the list of those who joined from each town and 
village, the Earl of Sussex has written the numbier to be 
executed, amounting to every fifth man. The fearful order was 
tardily executed, and Sussex wrote to spur on the reluctant 
ministers of the royal vengeancie. In his letter, of the 19th of 
January, addressed to Sir George Bowes,, he says^^-^*- 

** I received, yesternight, letters from the court, wherebjr, I perceive^ that 
the queen's majesty doth much marvel that she doth not near from me that 
the execution is yet ended, and that she is disburthened of her charges 
that was considered for that respect ; and, therefore, I heartily pray you to 
use expedition, for I fear this lingering will breed displeasure to us both." 

The richer sort purchased their livesi but no less than eight 
hundred of the working classes perished by the hands of the 
executioner I Leicester had expressed a great wish to march 
against the rebels, but the queen detained him as her principal 
adviser and protector, in case of danger. 

Early in the spring of 1570, Pope Pius V. published his bull 
of excommunication against Queen Elizabeth, and on the 
morning of May isth a copy of this anathema against the 
sovereign was found fixed on the gates of the Bishop of 
London's palace, in St. Paul's. After strict search, a duplicate 
was discovered in the possession of a student of Lincoln*s Inn ; 
who, being put to the torture, confessed that he received it 
from Mr. Felton, a rich Catholic gentleman of Southwark. 
Felton, on being apprehended, not only acknowledged that he 
had set up the bull on the Bishop of London's gate, but gloried 
in the daring act, bore the rack without betraying his accom- 
plices, and went to the scaffold in the spirit of a martyr. As 
liie purport of the bull was to deprive Elizabeth of the title of 
queen, and the allegiance of her subjects, Felton gave her no 
other title than "the pretender;" but, at his execution, he said, 
"he begged her pardon if he had injured her," and drawing a 
magnificent diamond ring, value four himdred pounds, from his 
finger, requested the Earl of Sussex, who was present, to give 
it to her in his name, as a token that be died in peace with her, 
bearing her no malice for his sufferings and death.^ 

This bull caused little mischief, but great annoyance to 

1 On the asrd, Sussex, who evideqUy loathed the duty that bad been imposed vpon him, 
wrote in bitter sarcasm to Cecil—'* I was first a lieutenant; I was after little bettor than a 
marshal ; I had then nothing Left to me but to direct haneuur mattcrst" 

9 O nmH^>n , •— • 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 271 

Elizabeth; she even condescended to solicit tiie Emperor 
Maximihan to procure its revooatioa^ A sarcastic query from 
the pontiff in reply to the imperial intervention was the only 
result oi this undignified proceeding on the part of the head of 
the Prctfestant Church. In August, the plague broke out in 
London^ and some deaths having occurred in the Tower, 
Elizabeth was induced to release the Duke of Norfolk, on his 
promi^g to give up all future correspondence with the Queen 
<^ Scots, and attempts in her behalf. He was then allowed to 
return to his own mansion at the Charter House, where he r^ 
mained for a time as a prisoner at large, under the charge of his 
friend, Sir Henry Nevilke. A sort of riot had taken place, in 
his behalf, among his loving tenantry and sarants at Harieston 
Fair, in his territorial county of Norfolk ; some of the nobles and 
gentry in that neighbourhood were supposed to have encouraged 
the outbreak, but it was merely regarded as the effects of potr 
valour on the part of the men of Harieston, and no injury 
resulted to the duke from their injudicious way of manifesting 
their affection.^ 

On the assassination of the Scottish regent, Murray, Elizabeth 
was urged by the friends of the captive Queen of Scots, both 
in France and Scotland, to reinstate her in her royal authority, 
under certain conditions, which might have been rendered of 
great political advant£^e to England, but those demanded by 
Elizabeth were neither in Mary's power, nor consistent with 
her honour to perform, especially as the sine qua non was, that 
she should give up her in^nt son, who had been crowned King 
of Scotland, as her principal hostage.' The possession of this 
princely babe had been the great object of Elizabeth's intrigues, 
almost from the time of his birth, but neither Mary nor the 
lords of the congregation would hear of trusting him to her 
keeping. "The times,*' says Camden, **were then full of 
suspicions and conspiracies," for Thomas and Edward Stanley, 
the two younger sons of the Earl of Derby by the Duke of 
Norfolk's daughter, with Sir Thomas Gerard, Rolston, Hall, 
and others of the county of Derby, conspired to free the Queen 
of Scots out of prison, but Rolston's son betrayed the con- 
federacy,- and the parties were arrested, except Hall, who fled 
to Scotland^ where he was afterwards taken, at the hX\ of 
Dumbarton Castle, and put to death in London. Mary^s 
ambassador, the Bishop of Ross, being implicated in this plot 
was once more seat to the Tower. Elizabeth had taken a 
terrible vengeance on the border coimties of Scotland, for the 

1 liqganL * Camden. Howazd's Memorials. * Camden. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

272 Elizabeth 

encouragement the partisans of the Queen of Scots, there, had 
given to the rebels in the north of Er^land, for she caused 
Sussex, with a military force, to burn and.lay waste nearly three 
hundred villages.^ These cruelties were regarded as so many 
triumphs, by those who heard of the progress made by the 
unresisted bands of England, and saw not the misery caused 
by the inglorious work of destruction that was perpetrated. 

The twelfth year of Elizabeth's reign being now completed, 
the anniversary of her accession was celebrated as a general 
festival throughout her dominions. The aspect of public 
affairs was, however, still gloomy, the unsettled state of the 
succession was more alarming to the nation than ever, and 
Elizabeth herself began to consider, that the only chance of 
putting an end to the plots and intrigues of the partisans of 
Mary Stuart, would be the birth of heirs of her own. Her 
attempt to attract the young King of France from the Austrian 
princess had only procured a few empty compliments from the 
ambassador ; and, even if the king had not been too deeply 
pledged to his aflianced bride to avail himself of the opening 
she had given him, Elizabeth was well aware that the obstacles 
to such a union were insuperable. But that she did regret 
having been induced by Cecil and Leicester to trifle with the 
addresses of the Archduke Charles, there is abundant proof, 
and even that she was anxious " to lure the tercel gentU back 

In the secret minutes of die affairs of the court of England, 
prepared by the Sieur de Vassal, one of Fenelon's spies, for 
the information of the Queen-mother of France, it is stated, 
that after the announcement had been made to her that the 
marriages of her two rejected royal suitors, the Kings of France 
and Spain, with the daughters of the emperor, were concluded, 
Elizabeth became very pensive ; and when she retired to her 
chamber, with her ladies, she complained, "that, while so 
many honourable marriages were making in Europe, not one 
of her council had spoken of a match for her, but if the Earl 
of Sussex had been present, he, at least, might have reminded 
them of the Archduke Charles."* 

This being repeated, by one of the ladies, to the Earl ot 
Leicester, he was compelled, on the morrow, to endeavour to 
please her, by taking measures to renew the negotiations with 
the archduke; the son of Sir Henry Cobham was forthwith 
despatched, on a secret mission to Spires, for that purpose. 
In the meantime, she shewed more and more inclination to 

1 Camden. ^ Dep^ches de la Mothe Feaelon, vol. iiJ. p. 466. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 273 

marry, and spoke with so much affection of the archduke, 
that the earl repented having taken any further steps in the 

The juvenile appearance of the fimctionary, whom Elizabeth 
had selected for this delicate business, excited some surprise, 
both at home and abroad, for it was said that, " if so grave and 
experienced a statesman as the Earl of Sussex had failed to 
arrange a matrimonial treaty to her Majesty's satisfaction, it 
was scarcely to be expected that a beardless boy, of no weight, 
would be able to effect much."^ The youthful Mercury, 
however, opened the object of his misson, to the emperor, 
with all possible solemnity, by informing him, " that his royal 
mistress had sent him to continue the same negotiation that 
had been commenced, three years before, by the Earl of 
Sussex;, that she had not be«i able, till the present moment, 
to render a decisive answer on the proposal of the archduke, 
by reason of frequent illnesses, the wars in France and 
Flanders, and other impediments ; but this delay had not, she 
trusted, put an end to the suit of his Imperial Majesty's brother, 
and if he would be pleased to come to England now, he should 
be very welcome ; and, as to the differences in their religion, 
she hoped, that her subjects would consent that he and his 
attendants should have such full exercise of their own, and 
that he would be satisfied."* 

The emperor replied, " that his brother was very sorry that 
her Majesty had been so tardy in notifying her good intention 
to him, for which he was nevertheless very much obliged, but 
that the prince, not supposing that her Majesty would have 
delayed her answer for three years, if she had intended to 
accept him, had turned his thoughts on another match, and 
was now engaged to a princess, his relation and a Catholic, 
with whom there could be no disputes on the subject of 
religion, but that he regretted that he had not been accepted 
by the queen at the proper time, and hoped that she would 
henceforward regard him in the light of a brother." His 
Imperial Majesty concluded with a few compliments, on his 
own account, to the queen, and dismissed young Cobham with 
the present of a silver vessel.' 

This reply was taken in such evil part by Elizabeth, that 
she exclaimed, in her first indignation, " that the emperor had 
offered her so great an insult, that if she had been a mjan 

1 Secret Memorial for the French Court, by Vassal. Pespatches of Fenelon, vol. iiL 

3 Secret Memorial of M. de Savran for the Queen-mother of France, in Fenelon, vd. 
iiL 424. ' Ibid. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

274 Elizabeth 

instead of a woman, she would have defied him to single 
combat." ^ 

Our authority goes on to report the contents of an intercepted 
letter, written by one of the lords of the English court to 
another, in which the following passage occurs: — ^*The cause 
of the grief arid vexation of our queen, is assuredly the marriage 
of the Archduke Charles with the daughter of his sister, the 
Duchess of Bavaria, either because she had fixed her love and 
fantasy on him, or that she is mortified that her beauty and 
grandeur have been so lightly regarded by him, or that she has 
lost this means of amusing her people for the present, and fears 
that she will now be pressed by her states and her parliament 
not to defer taking a husband, which is the principal desire 
of all her realm." 

Elizabeth had, however, reachcki that point, when, m. common 
with every childless sovereign, who is on ill terms with the 
successor to the crown, she felt that her power was checked, 
and her influence bounded within comparatively narrow limits, 
by the want of heirs of her own person. This consideration 
appears, if we may believe her own assertion, to have inclined 
her to encourage thoughts of marriage, and the offer of the 
young, handsome Henry of Valois came at the seasonable 
juncture, when she was burning with indignation at the marriage 
of the Archduke Charles. "After the said Cobham had 
returned with the answer of refusal," says the Sieur de Vassal, 
" she began to listen with more affection to the proposal of 

This prince was the second surviving son of Henry II. and 
Catherine de Medicis, and had just completed his eighteenth 
year. Elizabeth was turned of thirty-seven, and had been, in 
her infancy, proposed as a wife for his uncle, Charles Duke 
of Angouleme. The project for her marriage with the Duke 
of Anjou seems to have been first suggested by the Cardinal 
Chastillon, who, notwithstanding his high rank in the Chufch 
of Rome, came to England for the purpose of soliciting the 
mediation of Elizabeth in a pacific treaty between the Kifig 
of France and the Huguenots.^ 

It is probable that this liberal-minded ecclesiastic imagined, 
that the union of the heir of France with the Protestant Queen 

1 Secret Memorial ot M.'de Savrati to tfaeir Majesties of France. Deptehes de la 
Mothe FeneloD, vol. iiL 425. 

> It b an interesting fact that this Cardinal de Chasfilloh was the brother of the 
illustrious Protestant leader, Admiral de Coligny, whose family name was Chastillon. 
The cardinal used his itafluence, like a good man, to moderate between the infuriated 
parties. (See Brantome, Les Vies des Rommes lUustreSi sme Partiei p. 151. ) 


by Google 

Elizabeth 275 

of England, would procure a general toleration for persons of 
her rdigion in France, and that her influence and power would 
be amicably exerted, to compose the stormy elements, whose 
strife was pregnant with every spedes of crime and misery. 

He took the first opportunity of touching on this project 
during a private conference with Elizabeth at Hampton Court, 
as soon as the fact of the archduke's marriage transpired, and 
received sufficient encouragement to induce him to open the 
matter to the queen-mother, who, on the 20th of October, 
wrote to La Mothe Fenelon, " That the Cardinal de Chastillon 
had spoken to her son, the Duke of Anjou, of an overture of 
marriage between him and the Queen of England, and she was 
earnest with him to give it sdl the encouragement in his 

Towards the end of December, La Mothe Fenelon paid a 
visit to the queen at Hampton Court ; he was introduced into 
her privy chamber by Leicester, "where he found her better 
dressed than usual, and she appeared eager to talk of the king's 
(Charies IX.) wedding." La Mothe told her, "that he could 
wish to congratulate her on her own." On which she reminded 
him, " that she had formerly assured him that she never meant 
to marry," but added, " that she regretted that she had not 
thought in time about her want of posterity, and that if she 
ever did take a husband, it should be only one of a royal house, 
of suitable rank to her own." ^ 

On this hint, the ambassador could not forbear from recom- 
mending the Duke of Anjou to her attention, as the most 
accomplished prince m the world, and the only person who was 
worthy the honour of her alliance.' 

She received this intimation very favourably, and replied, 
"that monsieur was so highly esteemed for his excellent 
qualities, that he was worthy of the highest destiny the worid 
could bestow, but that she believed his thoughts were lodged 
on a fairer object • than her, who was already an old woman, 
and who, unless for the sake of heirs, would be ashamed to 
speak of a husband ; that she had formerly been sought by 
some who would wish to espouse the kingdom, but not the 
queen ; as, indeed, it generally happened among the great, who 
married without seeing one another." She observed, "that 
the princes of the house of France had a fair reputation for 
being good husbands, much honoured by their wives, and not 

1 Depfches de la Mofhe Fendon, voL viL » iWd. vol. Hi. p. 418. 

» The beautiful Prmceas of Cleves« witk whom Henry of Ai^ou was passionately in 
love at that time. ^^ ^ 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

276 Elizabeth 

less beloved." She said many more things to the same pur- j 
pose, but La Mothe, m reporting this conversation, in a private 
letter to the queen-mother, expresses himself as doubtful 
whether she will ever carry any marriage into effect, having 
frequently promised her people to marry, and then, after enter- 
taining a proposal for a long while, found means to break it off. 
However, he recommends the offer to be made. 

The first time Elizabeth gave audience to the French am- 
bassador, after the marriage of Charles IX., she asked him, 
" how his master found himself as a married man ? " and added 
many questions as to the probability of his being happy with 
his young queen. La Mothe replied, " that his sovereign was 
the most contented prince in Christendom, and the greatest 
pleasure he had was being in her company." 

Elizabeth cynically observed, "that the record of the 
gallantries of his Majesty's father and grandfather, Francis I. 
and Henry II., inclined her to fear that he would follow their 
example." "And thereupon," pursues the ambassador, silly, 
to his sovereign, " she revealed to me a secret concerning your 
Majesty, which, sire, I confess I had never heard before." ^ So 
much better was our maiden queen acquainted with the scandals 
of her royal neighbour of France than his own ambassador, 
although Monsieur de la Mothe Fenelon was a notorious 

We are indebted to his lively pen, for many rich details of 
her sayings and doings, relative to the successive matrimonial 
negotiations between her and Henry Duke of Anjou, and sub- 
sequently with his younger brother Francis, alias Hercules, Duke 
of Alengon, also for a variety of anecdotes of this great queen, 
which are new to all but those who have studied his despatches. 
In a private letter, dated January i8th, 1571, he informs the 
queen-mother, that on the preceding Sunday, he was con- 
ducted by the Earl of Leicester into the presence of the Queen 
of England, when the conversation having been led to the 
subject of the private overtures for the marriage with the Duke 
of Anjou, the queen acknowledged, "that she objected to 
nothing but his age.'' To which it was replied, "that the 
prince bore himself already like a man." " But," said the 
queen, " he can never cease to be younger than me." 

" So much the better for your Majesty," rejoined Leicester, 
laughing, and Elizabeth took this freedom from her master of 
the horse in good part. Then the ambassador took the word, 
and, after adverting to the wedded happiness of his recently- 

1 Deptehes de la Mothe Fenelon, vol. iii. 

Digitized by VjOOg IC 

Elizabeth 277 

wedded king and queen, said, "that he would advise any 
princess, who wished to acquire perfect felicity in wedlock, to 
take a consort from the royal house of France." Elizabeth 
replied, " that Madame d'Estampesand Madame de Valentinois 
made her fear, that she would be only honoured by her hus- 
band as a queen, and not loved by him as a woman." This 
interesting conversation was interrupted by the entrance of 
Cardinal Chastillon, on which Fenelon and Leicester with- 
drew, and her Majesty remained a considerable time in private 
conference with him. 

As soon as the cardinal retired from her presence, Elizabeth 
summoned her council, and communicated her matrimonial 
prospects to them in a truly original style. She began by in- 
forming them, "that the Cardinal Chastillon had inquired of 
her three things : * first, if she were free from all contracts, 
with power to marry where she pleased ? secondly, whether she 
intended to marry within her own realm, or to espouse a 
foreigner? and, thirdly, in case it was her will to take a foreigner 
for her consort, if she would accept monsieur, brother to the 
King of France? ' and that she had replied to these questions, 
* that she was free to marry, but that she would not marry one 
of her subjects, and that she would, with all her heart, enter 
into a marriage with monsieur, on such conditions as might be 
deemed advisable.'"^ She then went on to say, that the 
cardinal had presented his credentials from the king, and 
prayed her, as the affair was of great consequence to the world, 
that she would communicate with her council on the subject 
before it went any further. " But this," her Majesty said, " she 
could tell them plainly, she had not thought good, and had 
replied, * that she was queen sovereign, and did not depend on 
those of her council, but rather they on her, as having their 
lives and their heads in her hand, and that they would, of 
course, do as she wished ; ' but inasmuch as he had represented 
to her the inconveniences which had been considered to result 
to the late queen, her sister, for having chosen to treat of her 
marriage with the King of Spain, without consulting her 
council, she had promised him, that she would propose it to 
them, and she willed that they should all promptly give her 
their advice." 

The members of the council hung their heads in silence, 
being scarcely less startled at the gracious terms in which their 
maiden monarch had thought proper to signify her intentions, 
with regard to this new suitor, than astonished at the fact, that 

1 Deptdies de la Mothe Fenelon, vol. liL p. 439, 440. (T^ooalp 

278 Elizabeth 

the affair had proceeded to such lengths; for so secretly had 
the negotiations been kept, that very few of them had an idea 
that such a thing was in agitatioa At length, after a consider- 
able pause, one of the most courageous ventured to say, that 
" Monsieur appeared to be very young for her Majesty." 

" What then ! " exclaimed Elizabeth, fiercely interrupting 
him, " if the prince be satisfied with me ? '' and then, appar- 
ently desirous of averting the unwelcome discussion of her age, 
she concluded by saying, " that the cardinal, after shewing his 
credentials, had proposed several articles of |in advantageous 
nature, ^^lich she considered well worthy of attention." ^ 

The reason of Elizabeth's imperious language to her council 
on this occasion may be attributed to the displeasure she had 
cherished against those, who opposed obstacles to her marriage 
with the archduke, which had ended in his abandoning his suit 
to her, and wedding the Bavarian princess. Far from conceal- 
ing her feelings on this subject, she spoke, among her ladies, 
in a high tone of the ill treatment, she considered that she had 
experienced from her Cabinet, with regard to the various over- 
tiires that had been made by foreign princes for her hand, 
observing, with emphatic bitterness^ "that her people had 
often pressed her to marry, but they, her ministers, always 
annexed such hard conditions to the treaty, as to keep her from 
it, and that she should know now who were her good and 
faithful subjects, and they might note well, that she should hold 
as disloyal those who attempted to cross her in so honourable 
a match." When one of her ladies regretted that monsieur 
were not a few years older, she replied, " He is twenty now, 
and may be rated at twenty-five, for everything in his mind and 
person beseems a man of worth;"* and when my Lord 
Chamberlain proceeded to relate an anecdote of the prince, 
which some of the ladies of the bedchamber considered rather 
alarming on the score of morality, her Majesty only turned it 
off with a joke. But however favourably disposed she might 
be to her new suitor, she could not forget or forgive the slight 
which she considered she had received from him, by whom she 
had been forsaken. 

If we may believe the Sieur de Vassal and La Mothe 
Fenelon, when the Baron de Vualfrind was presented to her, 
she expressed herself with mingled jealousy and disdain on the 
subject of the archduke's nuptials. She inveighed with strong 
reprobation on a marriage between such near relations as uncle 

1 Dep^ches dt la Mothe Fenelon, vol. iii. p 440. 

> Secret Memorial of M. de Vassal, in Feneloa's Despatches^ vcl. iii. p. 467. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 279 

and niece, observing/ '' that the King of Spain, as a great prince, 
possibly considered that his example might be a law to the 
world, but that it was a law against Heaven." According to 
the §^me authority, she so far forgot the dignity of the queen 
and the delicacy of the woman, as to add, '^that the archduke 
was much obliged to her for refusing him, since he had found 
a better than her, and where love could not fail, for if they 
could not love each other as spouses, they might love as rela^ 
tions; and that she also hoped, on her part, to find better 
than him, and so the regret would cease on both sides." Then 
she went on to say, '* that she had not refused him, but only 
delayed her answer, and he had not been willing to wait ; but, 
nevertheless^ she loved and honoured the emperor and all his 
house, without any exceptions." . 

When the baron left her Majesty's presence, he inquired of 
the writer of this memorial, " whether the queen had spoken 
thus of the archduke from affection and jealousy, or by way of 
a device ? " and said, " he repented of not having proposed 
Prince Rudolph, the emperor's eldest son to her, as he was 
already seventeen." The Sieur de Vassal told him, " that the 
mission of young Cobham to the emperor shewed plainly, that 
if the archduke had been willing to wait the queen's leisure, he 
would have been accepted." On which the baron expressed 
much regret, that the archduke had been so hasty in plighting 
himself to the Bavarian princess; but observed, "that the 
conditions to which they would have obliged him, if he had 
married the queen, were so hard that it was shameful to impose 
such on a king." ^ 

One of the proudest and happiest days of Elizabeth's queenly 
life, was the 23rd of January, 1571, when she came in state 
into the city, to dine with that prince of English merchants, 
Sir Thomas Gresham, who had invited her to open the new 
Bourse, on Cornhill, which he had built at his own expense, 
for the benefit of his fellow-citizens.^ 

1 That title immld, of course, tiAve been conferred on any prince whom EKzabeth had 
thought proper to honour with her hand ; and it was guaranteed to her two successive 
tisuors, tne princes of France, but only for the term of her life ; and we shall see that it 
was oantendad for Henry of Anjou, that if he sunnved her, he should retain a shadow of 
this matrimonial dignity, by bearing the style of King-dowager of England. 

* Queen Elizabeth was accustomed to call this great and good man "her merchant" 
La Mothe Fenelon mentions him, in his despatches to his own court "as Gnusa», the 
queen's factor." He was related to the queen through the Boleyns; and he and his 

&ther had amassed great wealth during the reigns of the Tudor sovereigns. On the 
death of his only son, he declared his intention of making his country hb heir, and 
wisely endeavoured to divert his grief for his irreparable loss, by the erection of a public 
buildmg for the transaction of mercantile business, such as he had seen in the great com* 
mercia] cities abroad ; and which was indeed a public want in the rich city of London, 
where the merchants, not having a proper place of assembly, were accustomed to con- 
gregate in Lombard Street, to the great mcoovenienoe of passengers in that narrow 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

28o Elizabeth 

The queen had not visited the city of London for upwards 
of two years, on account of the pestilence ; of which, like her 
father, Henry VIII., she was always in great dread. The 
welcome which she received on this occasion, from her loving 
lieges in the east, was enthusiastically affectionate. La Mothe 
Fenelon, who accompanied her Majesty, as an invited guest, 
to " the festival of the Bourse," as he terms it, bears testimony, 
in his letters to his own court, to the magnificence of the pre- 
parations that had been made in the city, in honour of her 
coming, "which," he says, "were no less splendid than on 
the day of her coronation. She was received everywhere by 
throngs of acclaiming people ; the streets were hung and gar- 
landed ; and all things in the same order, as at her first public 
entrance. It gave her great pleasure," continues he, "that I 
assisted on this occasion, because it shewed more of her 
grandeur, that such a display should be so suddenly arranged, 
than if it had been premeditated, and got up some time before- 
hand. The said lady did not omit to make me remark the 
affection and devotion with which she is looked upon by this 
great people." ^ 

Elizabeth dined in company with Fenelon, at Sir Thomas 
Gresham's house, in Bishopsgate Street ; where, though every 
costly viand that wealth could procure, and refined luxury devise, 
were provided for her entertainment, her greatest feast appears to 
have been that, which neither Stowe, Holinshed, or any of our 
pleasant civic chroniclers of that day were at all aware her 
Majesty enjoyed — ^namely, the choice dose of flattery, which 
the insinuating French diplomat administered. In his private 
letter to the Queen-mother of France, he says, " the Queen of 
England took pleasure in conversing a long time with me after 
dinner; and, among other things, she told me, 'that she was 
determined to marry, not for any wish of her own, but for the 
satisfaction of her subjects ; and also to put an end, by the 
authority of a husband, or by the birth of offspring, (if it should 
please God to give them to her,) to the enterprises which she 
felt would perpetually be made against her person and her 
realm, if she became so old a woman that there was no longer 
any pretence for taking a husband, or hope that she might 
have children.' " * 

She added, " that in truth, she greatly feared not being loved 

thoroughfare ; and when the weather was unpropitiotts, they adjourned to the nave of 
old Saint Paul's to complete their bargains, with no more reverence to a Christian 
church, than was exhibited by the money-changers and sellers of doves in the Temple at 
1 Depfiches de la Mothe Fenelon, voL iiL p. 450. > Ibid. p. 454. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 281 

by him, whom she might espouse, which would be a greater 
misfortune than the fi^t, for it would be worse to her than 
death, and she could not bear to reflect on such a possibility." 

" I told her, in reply," continues Monsieur de la Mothe," *that 
to such prudent considerations, I. had nothing to say, except, 
that in the course of a year she might remedy ail that, if before 
next Easter she would espouse some royal prince, the choice of 
whom would be easy for her to make, as I knew of one who 
combined in lumself every virtue, by whom there was no doubt 
but she would be singularly beloved and greatly honoured ; and 
then I hoped that in due time she would find herself the mother 
of a fair son, and being thus rendered happy in a consort 
and an heir, she would by that means prevent any more evil 
plots being devised against her.' She approved of this very 
much, and pursued the subject with joyful and modest words 
for a considerable time. The Cardinal Chastillon was also at 
this festival, but she did not speak with him apart" ^ 

The time chosen by Sir Thomas Gresham, for her Majesty's 
visit to his patriotic foundation, was evening, " and the whole 
of the buildings of that fair cloister, the Bourse," as it is called 
by the old translator of Camden, were brilliantly illuminated, 
and adorned in an appropriate manner, for the occasion;^ 
neither pains nor expense had been spared to render it worthy 
of her attention. 

The munificent founder had secured a grand and unbroken 
coup-iT-oeil^ by offering the shops rent free for a year, to such 
as would furnish them with goods and wax-lights against the 
coming of the queen. Thus everything was new and fresh, and 
effectively arranged; and a splendid display was made of 
every, variety of the most costly and splendid wares, that native 
industry could produce, or commerce supply. 

The queen, attended by the principal nobles and ladies of 
her court, and the friendly representative of the King of France, 
on her homeward route through Comhill, entered the Bourse 
on the south side, and visited with great interest every part of 
the edifice, in which she beheld, not only a monument of the 
generosity and public spirit of her civic kinsman, but a pledge 
of the increasing greatness of her city of London ; and after 
expressing herself with eloquent and gracious words in com- 
mendation of all she saw, especially the Pawn, where the 
richest display was made, she gave it the name, of the Royal 
ExcHAiiGE,' and caused proclamation to that effect to be made 

1 r«p€clies de la Mothe Fenelon, vol. iii. pw 45jk 

■ Stowe. ■ Stowe's Survey. Camden. ^^ ^ 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

282 Elizabeth 

by sound (^ trumpet. She lemaiQed till about eight o'dock, 
and was escorted in great state through die illuminated slxeets^ 
which were lined on each side by torch-bearers; the whc^e 
populatiofi, indeed, supplied themselves with torches on this 
occasion to do her honour, and surrounded and followed her 
with tumultuous exclamations of joy. 

Her Majesty asked Monsieur de la Mdthe, *'if this did fiot, 
in a small way, remind him of the late rejoicings in Parts, at 
the public entrance of the king his master?" She then 
observed, "that it did her heart gbod to see herself so much 
beloved and desired by her subjects ; *' and added, " that she 
knew they had no other cause for regret, than that they knew 
her to be mortal, and that they had no certain^ of a successor, 
bom of her, to reign over them after her death.?' The cour- 
teous statesman replied, with an outpouring of compliments to 
this pathetic boast, "that her Majesty would be without excuse 
to God and the world, if she deprived her subjects of the feir 
posterity she had it in her power to provide for them." ^ 

Soon after the opening of the Royal Exchange, Elizabeth 
created Sir William Cecil Lord of Burleigh (indiflferently spelt 
Burghley), and made him Lord High Treasturen Her uncle. 
Lord William Howard, exchanged the office of Lord Chamber- 
lain for that of Lord Privy Seal ; the Earl of Sussex succeeded 
him as Chamberlain; Sir Thomas Smith was made princ^l 
Secretary of State, and Christopher Hatton, Esq., Captain of 
her Majesty's Guard. ' The latter gehtlemian, who \as been 
described by Naunton as a mere vegetable of the court, diat 
sprang up at night and sank again at his noon, was soon after 
preferred to the office of Vice-chamberlain, sworn of the privy 
council, and^ lastly, made Lord Chancellor. He was indebted 
for his good fortune to his fine person, insinuating manners, 
and graceful dancing. He was bred to the law, and entered 
the court, as his great enemy. Sir John Perrot; used to say, 
" by the galliard," for he firet appeared there among the gentle- 
men of the inns of court in a mask, at which time her Majesty 
was so charmed with his beauty and activity, that she took him 
into het band of pensioners, who were considered the tallest 
and handsomest men in England* 

The extraordinary marks of favour lavished by the queen 
on her new favourite, excited the jealousy of the whole court, 
and most espefeiatty that of Lttcester, who, fo* the purpose of 
depreciating the accomplishment which had first attracted 

1 Deptcbes de la Mothe Fenclon, vol^ iii. pb 454. 
S Naanton's FtagnMate. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 283 

Elizabeth's notice to the handsome y^oung lawyer, offered to 
introduce to her attention a dancing master, whose perfomiance 
of the same dances, in which Hatton's caperings had bten so 
much admired, was considered much more wonderful, and 
wOTthy of the encouragement of her smiles. "Pish ! ** replied 
Elizabeth, contemptuously, " I will not see ^<«^r man ; it is his 
trade/' Not only her partiality for Hatton, but her good taste, 
led her to prefer the easy grace of the gentleman to the 
exhibition of the professor of the art. 

Scandal did not spare Elizabeth on the score of Sir Chris- 
topher Hatton, but as he was not only the beau ideal of a queen's 
vice-chamberlain, but acquitted himself very well in his high 
and responsible office of Lord Chancellor, we may fairly conclude 
that his royal mistress preferred him for his talents to those 
places, rather than from the improbable weakness which has 
been attributed to her. 

Hatton, though of mild and gentle manners^ was rapacious, 
and coveted a slice of the Bishop of Ely^s noble garden, which 
consisted of twenty acres of richly planted ground on Holbom 
Hill and Ely Place.i 

Dr. Cox did not h'ke his see to be despoiled, and resisted 
this encroachment, though backed by the queen's private orders. 
This refusal produced the following unique epistle from bet 
maiden Majesty: — 


. ** Ypu know what you were before I made you what you are noiv. 
If you do Dot unmediately comply with my request, I will imfrock you, 
by God. 


This letter had the desired effect of inducing the Bishop of 
Ely to resign a large proportion of the estate of the see,— the 
gate-house of his palace on Holbom Hill, and several acres of 
land, now Hatton Garden, reserving to himself and his successors 
&ee access, through the gate-house, of walking in the garden, 
and leave to gather twenty bushels of roses yearly, therein.* 
Twenty bushels of roses gathered on Holbom Hill ! — ^what a 
change of time, place) and produce since. How perplexed 

1 Fuller. 

* Eluaheth'a bishops appear to hare been great liortlcHTttinstSi fidmund Grrndf^l, 
Bishop of LondoOr sent lier an amitial present- o£ grapes from his .vineyard at Fulham, bui 
had nearly forfeited her Btvour for ever, by sending bis last offering at the time there had 
been a dekth in his koose, which caused a repovt that he hftd endangered her Majesty's 
person, by sending from an infected place. He wrote a piteous letter, denying that the 
pUguewasinhislouse. ^ Digitized by GoOglC 

284 Elizabeth 

would the denizens of Ely Place and Hatt<m Garden be, if the 
present Bishop of Ely were to demand his twenty bushels of 
roses, and admission to gather them in Hatton Garden? It 
was this Bishop of Ely who remonstrated with Elizabeth for 
retaining the crucifix and lighted tapers in her chapel; for 
which she never forgave him. Soon after, her fool, set on by 
one of her courtiers, put out the wax-lights ; but though she 
suffered them to be abolished in general, she ever retained 
them on her own domestic altar. 

Fenelon informs Catherine de Medicis, that there were four 
lords of Queen Elizabeth's court and cabinet, who influenced 
the decisions of all the others, and even those of their royal 
mistress. He does not name this junta, but they appear to 
have consisted of Leicester, Cecil, Walsingham, and the Lord 
Keeper Bacon. In his letter of the 6th of February, he writes 
to Catherine, " that these four statesmen had met in council to 
deliberate on what course they should advise the queen to 
pursue, touching the proposed marriage with the Duke of 
Anjou. The first of these approved of it as good and honour- 
able; the second opposed it as perilous to the Protestant 
religion, calculated to provoke jealousy in other princes, and 
full of danger to the realm ; the third was of the same opinion 
as the second ; and the fourth held with the first, but only so 
for that he considered the match was for the honour of her 
Majesty and the realm, yet, if it could be broken without 
personal offence to monsieur, by means of such conditions 
being annexed as would be refused by the King of France, it 
would be the means of creating a division and enmity between 
the royal brothers, which would be advantageous to England." 

The queen, when she was informed of these adverse opinions 
of her council, assembled them together, and said, with a tear 
in her eye, " that if any ill came to her, to her crown, or her 
subjects, from her not having espoused the Archduke Charles, 
it ought to be imputed to them, and not to her ; '' ^ adding, 
" that they had been the cause of giving umbrage to the King 
of Spain — that they had embroiled her with the Scotch — and 
that, through their intrigues with the Rochellers, a war with the 
King of France would have ensued if she had not prevented it, 
and she prayed them all to assist her now to smooth all these 
evils in the only way they could, which was by forwarding her 
marriage with monsieur, and that she should hold every one as 
a bad subject, an enemy to this realm, and disloyal to her 
service, who in any way crossed her in it." No one present, of 

1 Dep«ches de la Mothe Fenelon, vol iSL p. 462. 

Digitized by VjOOg IC 

Elizabeth 285 

course, presumed to contradict or oppose her in her sad and 
passionate mood. 

It appears to have been the rule with Elizabeth's ministers to 
listen, with profound reverence, to every rating it pleased her 
to bestow upon them, but without altering, except in a few 
deceitful compliances of trifling and temporary import, the line 
of conduct which had provoked her displeasure. 

It was the decided opinion of that minute observer. La 
Mothe Fenelon, that it was not the intention of those who 
ruled the councils of the queen, and overawed the ancient 
aristocracy of her realm, to permit their royal mistress to marry. 
Leicester, from whom he had much of his information, whether 
true or false, but most probably a mixture of both, informed 
him, "that such of the lords of the council as were in the 
interest of Spain were greatly opposed to the match between 
her Majesty and monsieur, so also he said was Mr. Secretary 
Cecil (Burleigh), who did not choose that his mistress, after the 
fashion of the world, should have any husband but himself, for 
he was more the sovereign than she was." So earnestly, indeed, 
was Cecil bent on diverting Elizabeth from the French marriage, 
that he even ventured the daring experiment of tampering 
with her suspected passion for Leicester, by gravely soliciting 
her to accept him for her husband, as the person who would 
give the greatest satisfaction to the whole realm, but she treated 
the notion with deserved contempt. 

Leicester, on his part, assured La Mothe Fenelon, "that, 
knowing full well that Burleigh had no good meaning in this, 
and that he only devised it, as a contrivance, to hinder the 
queen from entering into a matrimonial treaty with the French 
prince; he had replied, "that when the time was favourable 
for him in that matter, Burleigh had opposed and prevented 
him ; but now that the time was unpropitious for it, he pre- 
tended to assist him ; but those who would now attempt such 
a thing were neither good servants to her Majesty nor true 
friends to him, their only aim being to interrupt the proposition 
of monsieur, for which he (Leicester) owed them no good will, 
nor would render them th^ks, not choosing to become their 

The queen, meantime, having apparently set her mind 
entirely on the French marriage, complained to Lady Clinton 
and Lady Cobham of the difficulties that some of her ministers 
made to her marriage with monsieur, on account of his being 
too young, and she conjured them, "to tell her freely their 

1 Dep£ches de la Mothe Fenelon, vol. iii. ^^ , 

Digitized by VjOOg IC 

286 Elizabeth 

opinions, as she esteemed them as two of the most faithful of 
her ladies, and placed more confidence in them than in all the 
ladies in the worldj and therefore did not wish them to dis- 
simulate with her in anything." Then the Lady Clinton, being 
-an old courtier, and well knowing that her Majesty did not 
wish to hear a repetition of the same sentiments which had 
displeased her in her uncomplying council, replied by praising 
the perfections of her Majesty, and encouraging hex in her 
design of marrying, and highly approving of her choice of 
monsieur, ** whose youth," she said, "ought not to inspire her 
with fear, for he was virtuous, and her Majesty was better calcu- 
lated to please him than any other princess in the world." ^ 

Her Majesty received this agreeable answer with such 
evident satisfaction, that Lady Cobham, not daring to say 
anything in opposition, merely observed, " that those marriages 
were always the happiest when the parties we^ e of the same age, 
or near about it, but that here there was a great inequality 1 " 
Elizabeth interrupted her, by saying, " that there were but ten 
years difference between them." No>y, although both the ladies 
were aware that it was nearer twenty, neither ventured to 
correct the royal calculation, and her Majesty S£U(J, in con- 
clusion, "that it might possibly have been better if the prince 
had been the senior, but since it had pleased God that she 
was the oldest, she hoped that he would be contented with her 
other advantages." ^ 

But while the mighty Elizabeth, laying aside the dignified 
restraints of the sovereign, endeavoured, like a perplexed and 
circumvented woman as she was, to find, among her favoured 
confidants pf the bedchamber coterie, sentiments and advice 
more in accordance with her wishes than the unwelcome 
opposition she had encountered fronc^ her privy councillors, and 
was soothed by their flattery into so happy an idea of her own 
perfections, that she anticipated no other obstacle to her 
paarriage with the handsome Henry of Anjou, than that which 
proceeded from the jealousy of he;r own Cabinet, the possibility 
pf a demur arising on bis part appears neyj^r to have entered 
into her imagination. IJnfortunately, however, the overtures 
for this marriage had been made by the scheming politicians 
of France, and the negotiations pursued by the desire of the 
ambitious queen-mother, Catherine de Medicis, up to the 
present point, without the necessary preliminary of obtaining 
the assent of thp said Henry of Anjou, to the. disposal of 
iiis hand in wedlock to her Majesty of England. 

1 Secret Memorial of M. de Vassal, in Fenelon's Despatc}ies. > Ibid. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 287^- 

When matters were so tax advanced, that it was absolute^ 
necessary for the nominal suitor to come forward, in propria 
persona^ the royal youth, with all the reckless wilfulness of his 
age, expressed his disapproval of the niature bride-elect, who 
had beeo so warmly wooed in his name, and protested " that 
he would not marry her, for she was not only in old creature, 
but bad a sore leg." This infirmity, though a new feature in 
the perisonal description of Queen Elizabeth, was not altogether 
the invention of her refractory suitor ; it seems she realty had 
a temporary afiUction of |he kind,* for, in the preceding June, 
La Mothe Fenelon informed his court, in his official report, 
that be could not have an audience, on business, with 
Elizabeth, for she was ill, and, the truth to say, something was 
the matter with her leg. 

On the 26th of the same month, she gave the French 
ambassad^ ^sx audience in her chamber, dressed in a 
wrapping-gown, with the leg laid in repose. First, she dis- 
cussed her malady, and then the affsurs of Europe^ and she 
vowt^ "if she were iMie, France and Scjodaijd would find 
her affairs did ^ot balt."i 

The next mpufl), her lameness was not amended, mid she 
was forced to ipak^e h^r sumiper progress ia a coach. Nevei^- 
theless, in September, she was not only on her feet, but 
pursuijog her old divefsions of the chase. She received La 
Mothe, he says^ in a sylvan palace, not far from Oxford, 
surrounded by forests which, though he <^Us it by the unin- 
tdUgible name of Vuynck^ could be no other than Woodstock. 
She gave him audience, not in the main building, but in a 
lodge ia the wilderness, where toils were pitched, that she 
might shoot deer with her own hand, as th^y defiled before 
her. "She took the cross-bow and killed «ix does ; and," §ays 
the ambas^dw, "she did me the honour to give 9ie ^ shar^ 
of them.'* 

Early in February, 157 1, the repu^iance of young Anjoij 
assumed a graver and sterner l<^in, and fiixding th^t hifi 
ill-mannered railmg against the royal bride, who bad beei^ 
provided for hijp, was only r^arded by his mother as boyish 
petulance, he appealed to the king, his brother, against th^ 
marriage, on such startling grounds, that the wily queen- 
mother, deeming it useless to proceed further with the 
negotiation dn his name, wrote an agitated letter to Monsieur 
de la Mothe, informing him of thp contumacy of Henry, and 
imploring him to dp his best, to prevail on the Queen 0/ 

1 .P«^pA|cb«« qf La Mothe Fenelon, tqL Ui. pp. az^ a^ o. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

288 Elizabeth 

England, to accept his younger brother, the Duke of Alen9on, 
in his place. After telling the ambassador, " that she would 
not confide the purport of what she is about to write to any 
other hand than her own," she says, " I assure myself that you 
will conduct this affair so secretly and dexterously that we shall 
not incur the danger I apprehend, if the Queen of England, 
thinking herself disdained or scorned, should avenge herself 
by making war upon us, either openly or underhand, as she 
has done before now. To come to the point, my son (Anjou) 
has let me know, by the king his brother, that he will never 
marry the Queen of England, even if she be ever so willing to 
have him — so much has he heard against her honour, and seen 
in the letters of all the ambassadors who have ever been there 
(in England), that he considers he should be utterly dis- 
honoured, and lose all the reputation he has acquired. But 
still, hoping to make him yield to reason, I would wish you to 
continue to write in the same strain as at present, till I can 
decide what to do ; letting the affair proceed, lest she should 
bear us ill-¥^ll, and feel resentful at being refused. I declare 
to you, that if she expresses a willing mind, I shall feel extreme 
concern at the opinion he has taken. I would give half my 
life-blood out of my body could I alter it, but I cannot render 
him obedient in this matter. 

" Now, Monsieur de la Mothe," contmues the royal maternal 
speculator, "we are on the point of losing such a kingdom 
and grandeur for my children, that I shall feel great regret — 
see if there be no means, as I formerly asked you, of inducing 
her to adopt one of her female relatives as her heiress, whom 
one of my sons could espouse." ^ The ignorance betrayed by 
Catherine de Medicis in this modest suggestion, is scarcely 
less laue;hable than her absurd egotism, since, if Elizabeth 
could have been guilty of the folly of involving her realm in 
a succession war, for the sake of thus aggrandizing one of the 
cadet princes of France, there was no surviving marriageable 
lady descended from Henry VII., save Elizabeth herself and 
the captive Queen of Scots. 

Catherine had, however, another project, scarcely less 
chimerical, by which she hoped to secure the crown of the 
Plantagenets and Tudors to her own precious offspring — " Not 
very easy," as she herself admits in the said letter to La 
Mothe, but still possible to be accomplished through his 
surpassing powers of persuasive eloquence. Her Majesty 
discloses this darling scheme in the following anxious query — 

1 I>ep£ch«s de U Mothe Fenelon, vol. viL pp. 178, 179. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 289 

"Would she (Queen Elizabeth) have my son Alengon ? — As 
for him, he wishes it. He is turned of sixteen, though but 
little of his age.^ I deem she would make less difficulty of it, 
if he were of stately growth, like his brethren, then I might 
hope somewhat ; for he has the understanding, visage, and 
demeanour of one much older than he is ; and, as to his age, 
there are but three years between his brother and him." 

This doughty candidate for the hand of the greatest female 
sovereign the world had ever seen, was bom in March, 1555, 
consequently he was two and twenty years younger than Eliza- 
beth, and his diminutive mean figure, and prematurely old face, 
were rendered more ridiculous by the fact that he had received 
the potent name of Hercules at the baptismal font; though, at 
the death of his elder brother, it had been judiciously changed 
for that of Francis. To make the case worse, he was scarred 
with the small-pox, his nose was so disproportionately large as 
to amount to deformity, and the conditions of his mind were 
as evil as those of his inconvenient little body. These circum- 
stances were the more unpropitious, as Elizabeth was a decided 
admirer of beauty, and entertained the greatest antipathy to 
ugly and deformed people; she even carried her fastidiousness, 
on this point, to such an extreme that she refused the place 
of a gentleman-usher to an unexceptionable person for no other 
objection than the lack of one tooth, and whenever she went 
abroad, all ugly, deformed, and diseased persons were thrust 
out of her way, by certain officers whose business it was to 
preserve her Majesty from the displeasure of looking on objects 
offensive to her taste. La Mothe Fenelon, who was aware of 
all her peculiarities, in his reply to Catherine, positively refused 
to insult Elizabeth by the offer of such a consort as the ugly 
urchin, whom he was requested to recommend to her accept- 
ance, and requested leave to return to France. He advised 
the queen-mother, withal, to wait till the Duke of Alen^bh 
should have grown a little, before she caused him to be proposed 
to the Queen of Ehglaiid, or that princess would consider that 
it was done in mockery, and might possibly retaliate by some 
serious political injury. In reply to the evil reports alluded to 
by the Duke of Anjou, he affords the following noble testimonial 
of Elizabeth's character : 

"They can write and speak very .differently of this princess 
from the hearsay of men, who sonitimes cannot forgive the 
great qualities of their betters ; but in her own court they would 
see everything in good order; and she is there very greatly 

1 Depdchea fte ia Mothe Fenelon, rol. vii. pp. z^EiSow 

Digitized by Cj^OglC 

290 Elizabeth 

faonouved, and understands her afifairs s6 well, that Ihe mightiest 
in her realm, and all ranks of her subjects fear and revere her ; 
and she rules them with full authority, which, I conceive, could 
scarcely proceed from a person oi evil fiune, and where there 
was a want of virtue. Nevertheless, I know what you have 
heard ; and that there is an opinion that she wiU never have 

At the end of February, the impoitunities of Catherine de 
Medicis had wrung from Anjou a declaration, that he was not 
only wilUng to wed Queen Elizabeth, but that he eamesdy 
desired it. She wrote indefatigabiy with her own hand to 
forwaid the marriage, and gave the most earnest advice to 
Elizabeth to wed Anjou while he was in the muid. She exerted 
all her diplomatic slall in a dialogue she had with Lord Buck- 
hurst, Queen Elizabeth's relative, and ambassador extraordinary 
at Paris ; but to her infinite vexation she found him perfectly 
acquainted with the reluctance of die bridegroom, for his refrain 
to all her fine speeches was— ^ 

" But why is monsieur so unwilling ? " 

On the return of Norris, her ambassador, to the court of 
France, Elizabeth questioned him very minutely as to the 
personal qualifications of Henry of Anjou; and received such 
a favourable description of his fine figure, handsome face, and 
graceful mien, that conceiving a great wish to see him, she 
ordered Leicester to make a discreet arrangement for that pur- 
pose with La Mothe Fenelon, without committing her maidenly 
delicacy. The plan proposed was, for her t6 direct her progress 
towards the Kentish coast, and then, if her princely suitor 
wished to see her, he might cross the Channel incognito, by 
a morning tide, and return by the next tide, provided he had 
no inclination to remain longer to cultivate the opportunity thus 
condescendingly vouchsafed to him of pleading his own cause. ^ 
Unfortunately, monsieur did not feel disposed to become the 
hero of the petite romance, which the royal coquette had taken 
the trouble of devising, by way of enlivening the solemn <lul- 
ness of a diplomatic courtship with a spice of reality. She 
had, from first to last, declared that nothing on eatth should 
induce her to marry a prince whom she had never seen ; * and 
Henry of Anjou, though acknowledged to be one of the hand- 
somest princes in Europe, nerversely determined not to gratify 
her curiosity by exhibWng himself. Perhaps he had been 
alarmed at the weU^igg||pill6g%Qt injudicious hint conveyed by 
Monsieur de b^ *^ nis royal mother, that the queen's 

jH* ^ ^'DeptehcBdttlaMotkeFttinloii. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Eiizabeth 29! 

kdies iiad nedsitned mstnictions to watch him very diligently, 
in order to discover whether he evinced any genuine demonstra- 
tions irf love for their mistress. A formidable ordeal, certainly, for 
any man to undergo, who was ejcpected to play the wooer to 
a royal spini^er of Elizabeth's temper ; and who was so many 
yeairs his senior, Elizabeth, though disappointed of a personsd 
interview of monsieur, requested to see his portrait; and two 
were s«it for her inspection, by the queen-mother. 

In her official instructions to Walsingham, on the subject of 
the pretimiiaary negotiations for her marriage with Anjou, Eliza- 
beth expiiesses herself sincerely disposed to take a consort for 
the good of her realm ; enlarging at the same time on her 
natural preference for a maiden Mfe, she says ^ — ** In the begin- 
iiing of our reign it is not unknown how we had no disposition 
of our own nature to marry, no otherwise than it is manifestly 
known, that when the king, our dear father reigned, and many 
times pressed us earnestly to marry ; nor when, in the late king, 
our brother's time, the like was renewed unto us, even for such 
as were then in real possession of kingdoms. When we lived 
but in a ptivate state as a daughter, or a sister-to a king, yet 
could we never induce our mind to marry; but rather did 
satisfy ourself With a solitary life." Who the regal suitors were, 
by whom the hand of Elizabeth was sought during her father's 
life, might have been known to herself, but no historian, or 
documentary evidence, has ever recorded their names. Small, 
however, would have been the attention vouchsafed by Henry 
VIII. to her reluctance to espouse any person on whom he 
might have felt disposed to bestow her in marriage. The 
evidences of history sufficiently prove, that, from the time of 
her mother's first decline in the favour of the capricious tyrant, 
Henry, the young Elizabeth was at discount in the royal matri- 
monial market ; and even the Earl of Arran neglected to secute 
her, when offered as a bride for his son. The scene was changed, 
as she fell, when a kingdom ' became her portion ; and her 
a»itempt for the intetested motives of the numerous princely 
wooers, by whom she was then surrounded, was open and 
undisguised. But as the princes of the royal house of France 
were not marriageable, till sbme time after her accession to the 
crown^ she received the succes^ve proposals of the three brothers, 
with more civility than sincerity. . .She had a great political 
game to play; and in entertaimn|hthe matrimonial overtures 
from the coutt of France, she '^^^**%ied every direct hostile 

1 Complete Ambassador, Vy Sfr Dudley x..»^ Ao 63. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

292 Elizabeth 

attempt that might otherwise have been made in favour of her 
royal prisoner, Mary Stuart 

She directed Walsingham to say, in her name, " that, consider- 
ing the king is married, there can be no greater nor worthier 
ofifer made by the Crown of France, than Monsieur d'Anjou ; 
and therefore we do thankfully accept it.*' On the terms of 
the marriage she bids him say, ' ' that he thinks no less can be 
offered for conditions, than was by the Emperor Charles with 
King Philip, for Queen Mary." On the matter of religion, 
Walsingham was privately to inform the queen-mother, ** that 
though she did not mean to put any force on the conscience 
of her son, yet she could not permit his exercising that form 
of religion in England, which was prohibited by the laws of 
her realm ; and that she should require his attendance upon 
her at such churches and oratories as she frequented." 

She adds, " that she is contented to have this matter kept 
secret for the present ; " meaning to make no one privy to it, 
but such members of her council whom she has most reason 
to trust, both for fidelity and secrecy ; " to wit, our cousin, the 
Earl of Leicester, of whom you may say that whatsoever may 
be otherwise doubted, we find ready to allow of any marriage 
that we shall like, and withal marriages with any prince stranger 
— most of all this with the Crown of France ; the other is Sir 
William Cecil, Lord of Burleigh, and our principal secretary."* 

This letter is given under the royal signet at Greenwich, the 
24th of March, 157 1. Walsingham, diplomatist though he 
was, candidly wrote to Burleigh, " that this letter fairly perplexed 
him ; but he thought it safest to follow the course prescribed 
by her Majesty, whatever came of it." 

Meantime, the Earl of Morton, and others of his party, had 
arrived in England, to treat on ihe affairs of Scotland, in the 
name of the infant King James. Queen Elizabeth, who was 
still amusing Mary and the court of France with deceptive 
negotiations, for the restoration of that unfortunate princess to 
her liberty and her throne, required the rebel commissioners to 
declare the grounds on which they had deposed their queen. 
Instead of gratifying her, as she expected, with the repetition (rf 
all their frightful accusations against her hapless kinswoman, 
they favoured her Majesty with a lengthy manifesto, setting 
forth, " that Scotland had from time immemorial been governed 
by male monarchs ; and iM&t they had the authority of Calvin 
to prove, that magist^i^ had power tQ. punish wicked 

j^ I Diggcs. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 293 

sovereigns, by imprisoning and depriving them of their realms ; 
that they had shewn their queen great favour, in permitting her 
son to reign ; and that she existed at that time only through 
the mercy of her people." ^ Elizabeth could not listen with 
even a show of patience to sentiments so opposed to her notion 
of passive obedience and the divine right of kings. She told 
the deputies that " they had not shewn, nor could she perceive, 
any just cause for the manner in which they had troubled their 
queen ; and advised them to seek other means for composing 
the discord then raging in Scotland." ^ 

When Morton refused to agree to the articles of the treaty 
with Scotland, which had been proposed by the commissioners 
of Elizabeth, she told the four commissioners who brought his 
answer to her, *' that she perceived in that answer, the arrc^nce 
and hardness of a very obstinate heart ; and that she knew that 
Morton himself had not brought such a one to her country, 
but that he had acquired it here, from some of the members of 
her council, of whom she could well say, that they were worthy 
of being hanged at the gate of the castle, with a copy of their 
advice about their necks ; and that it was not her will that 
Morton should stir from London, or his suite from her court, 
tin some good conclusion had been made in this affair." 

On the 23rd of March, 1571, Queen Elizabeth held a council 
at Greenwich, at which the affairs of Mary Queen of Scots were 
debated in her presence, and the articles of the treaty, then on 
the tapis, caused such a fierce contention among these states- 
men, that her Majesty was compelled to interpose for the 
restoration of order. This she did in the very tone of old 
Henry her father, by calling one of the assembly " a fool," and 
another "a madman."* The French ambassador had been 
invited to attend this council, as a matter of courtesy to Mary's 
royal kindred in France, and entered just at the moment the 
discussion had reached this interesting climax. His arrival 
gave a different turn to the scene, for instead of proceeding 
with the subject, his Excellency paid his compliments to the 
queen,. " and told her it was a long time since he had received 
news from France, and he came express this time to inquire of 
hers." She told him, with much satisfaction, '* that she could 
inform him, that the public entry of their Majesties of France 
had been made, on the first Monday in March, and that her 
ambassador. Lord Buckhurst, had informed her that it was very 
magnificent ; and also had written to her accounts of the 

X Camden. * Ibid. 

S Deptehes de la Modie Feodon, vol. It. |>. lo* * Ibid. p. 30i 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

294 Elizabeth 

combat at the barriers, aod all the other feats that had been 
perforjQtted by the royal bridegroom, Charles IX., whose per- 
sonal prowess he had greatly extoUed, ajad had :ads6 praised 
mons^neur, his brother, and that one. of her equerries whonx 
she had seat with Iiord Buckhurst was already returned, and 
had affirmed that, without making comparisons between kiogs^ 
for he had never seen any other besides his present Majesty of 
France, it was impossible for any pcmce,. lord, or geotleanan ta 
go beyond him, or perform his part more gallantly or with 
greater skill in every sort of combat, whether on horse or foot,, 
and that he had related to her many particulaxs, all which 
bad given her such pleasure to hear, that she had maxle him 
repeat them several times, aot without wishing that shehad. been; 
present, as a third queen, to see it all hersdf, and that in tsuth. 
she could willingly have reserved for herself the commission 
which she had given tai Lord Buckhurst, to go and congiatolate 
lh«ir most Christian. Majesties on their present felicity-;" 
addingi " that she trusted, that by the blessing of God, the most 
Christian queen would be happily cured of all her sickness in 
tihue course of! the next nine mondis." 

She then said, *' she had to solicit pardon, for havir^rsent a 
thief to Paris,, to steal a likeness of the queen, that ste might 
enjoy the satisfaction of poiKiessing her portrait." She drew it 
forth, as she spoke, from that capacious pocket, to which she 
was accustomed to consign the letters of foreign potentates and 
despatches from her own ambassadors, with, other diplomatic 
papers, and shewing it to Monsieur de la Mothe, inquired 
if her most Christiasi Majesty had quite as tmiclkem^a^oinl, 
and whether her complexion were as beautiful as. the paintex 
had represented. ' 

Before the interview concluded,. La Mothe said, ^' he wasiiciH 
stnicted to. inquire how her Majesty meant to proceed with 
oespect to the Queen of Scotland." On which, ElizaEbedi 
observed,. " that she had doubted whether he would allow the 
audience to end without naming the Queen of Scotsrtx) her, 
wJbom she could wish not to be quite so* much in his mastec^s 
oemembrance, and still kss in his." After this shrewd hint, she 
aaidv^' that ^e had used her utmost diligeiice to have the treaty 
perfected, and complained that the Cardinal, of Lorraine' had 
said and done various tilings against her which Monsieur deJa 
Mothe took some pains to explain ; " ^ and the interview ended 
piLeasantly on both sides. 

After an interval of five years, Elizabeth found it necessary 

1 Dep6chetd«r la Mothe FeBekm^TiiUiv*. - 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 295 

to summon a new parliament to meet at Westminster, for the 
puipose of granting an enormous property tax, consisting of 
two-tenths and two-fifteenths, and one subsidy by the laity, and 
six shillings in the pound by the clergy.^ The interference of 
Elizabeth in the continental warsk, and the pensions she had paid 
for years, and continued to .pay to the mercenary agitators in 
France, Scotland, and elsewhere, compelled her to inflict these 
grievous burdens, on her own subjects. The spoils of the 
nobility and gentry, who had taken part in the late risings in 
the north, might have sufficed to pay the expenses of the arma- 
ment, employed to crush the insurrection, but the queen had 
been harassed by the importunities of a greedy set of self- 
interested counciUprs and servants, who expected to be paid 
for their loyal adherence to her cause, out of the forfeitures 
of their misguided neighbours. At the head of these bold 
beggars, was her cousin Lord Hunsdon, who, to use his own 
expression, was laudably anxious that her Majesty's friends 
" may ^k a sallett " from the spoils of the house of Percy,^ 
He and his sons made a good thing of the late revolt. ' 

Nothing tends more to establish despotism in sovereigns 
than the unsuccessful efforts of a faction, to resist lawful 
authority^ In consequence of the late rebellion, statutes were 
made for the security of the queen, which stretched the pre- 
rogatives of the Crown beyond the limits to which the 
haughtiest of her predecessors had presumed to carry it ; and 
the penalties against non-conformity assumed a character 
as inconsistent with the divine spirit of Christianity, as the 
religious persecutions which had disgraced the preceding 

In the very face of these arbitrary enactments, George 
Strickland, Esq., one of the leaders of the Puritan party in the 
House of Commons, moved a reformation in the liturgy of the 
Church of England, and his motion was supported by those 
members professing the same opinions. The queen was 
highly offended at the presumption of Strickland in daring to 
touch on matters, over which she, as the head of the Church, 
claimed supreme jurisdiction.^ But when this intimation was 
given to the Commons, Strickland and his party unanimously 

*. Tournals of I^tflianieiit. 

> sS^much offended was Hunsdon, at not htiag gratified with the picking of the salad, 
on ^ich he had set his mind, that he refused to carry the unfortunate Ean of Northum< 
berland to be executed at York, with this remark:— •'Shr John Forster hath both the 
commodity and profit of all his lands in Northumberland, and he is fittest to have the 
carriage of him to Yojik."— Appendix to Memorials of the Northern RebeUionj hy Sir 
Cuthbert Shaip. 

8 Journals of Parliament. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 



exclaimed, "that the salvation of their souls was in question, to 
which all the kingdoms of the earth were nothing in com- 
parison." Elizabeth, in a transport of indignation, summoned 
the uncompromising northern member before her and her 
council, and laid her personal commands upon him not to 
appear any more in the House of Commons. This arbitrary 
interference with the proceedings of the representatives of the 
great body of her subjects, excited murmurs both deep and 
loud in the house, which, for the first time, entered the lists with 
royalty, on the subject of violated privilege, and in defence of 
that palladium of English liberty — freedom of debate. They 
maintained, withal, the constitutional truth, that it was neither 
in the power of the sovereign to make laws singly, nor to 
violate those that were already established. Elizabeth had the 
wisdom to relinquish the struggle, and Strickland triumphantly 
resumed his place in the house, where he was received with 
shouts of congratulation.^ 

If we may trust the reports of La Mothe Fenelon, Elizabeth 
was heard to say, "that she was tired of parliaments. None of 
her predecessors," she observed, "had held more than three 
during their whole lives, while she already had had four, and 
she had been so much tormented in the last about marrying, 
that she had resolved on two things — the first was, never to 
hold another parliament ; the other, never to marry ; and she 
meant to die in this resolution." ^ But, as concerned holding 
the parliament, it was easier to make that resolution, than to 
abide by it. 

One of the statutes of this parliament rendered it penal, even 
to speak of any other successor to the crown of England, than 
the issue of the reigning queen. Elizabeth^s fastidious delicacy 
in refusing to have the word lawful annexed, as if it were 
possible that any other than legitimate children could be bom 
of her, gave rise not only to unnecessary discussions on the 
subject, but some defamatory reports as to her motives for 
objecting to the customary word. "I remember," says 
Camden, "being then a young man, hearing it said openly 

^ D'Ewes' Journals. That Queen Elizabeth did not scruple to send members of 
parliament to the Tower for saying what she did not like, is evidrnl from what befid Mr. 
Wentworth. A brief abstract of her dealings with him is as follows. ** Wentworth, a 
member of the House of Commons, reflecting on the queen for ordering Mn Strickland to 
forbear coming to the house last sessions,- was seat to the Tower, February 8, 1575."— 
Toone*s Chronology, second edition. Again, in February. 1587, several of the most 
zealous members of the House of Commons were sent to tne Tower, by an order from 
council, for bringing in a bill to^ establish Puritanism against the Church of England. — 
(Toone, vol. i. p. 184.) Again, in September, 1^88, a book of devotion being presented to 
the House of Commons by four members of parliament, the queen committed to prison the 
lour members who presented it. — (i'oone, voL L p. 185.) 

a Dep^ches de b Mothe Fenelon. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 297 

by people, that this was done by the contrivance of Leicester, 
with a design to impose, hereafter, some base son of his own 
upon the nation, as the queen's offspring." In the preceding 
August, a Norfolk gentleman, of the name of Marsham, had 
actually been tried for saying, " that my Lord of Leicester had 
two children by the queen," and was condemned to lose both 
his ears, or else to pay a hundred pounds ; both punishments 
combined would have been a trifling mulct for the propagation 
of so injurious a scandal of a female sovereign. 

Early in April, 15 71, Signor Guido Cavalcanti arrived in 
England, bearing a joint letter from Charles IX. and Catherine 
de Medicis, addressed to Queen Elizs^beth, in which a formal 
tender of the Duke of Anjou's hand was made to her. 
Cavalcanti was stopped at Dover by order of the queen, and 
conducted, under a guard, to the house of Lord Burleigh, in 
London, where she had a secret interview with him, on the 
subject of his mission, before he was permitted to see the 
French ambassador, to whom the office of delivering the royal 
letter to her Majesty was assigned by his own court The next 
day, April 12th, La Mothe Fenelon obtained an audience of 
her Majesty, who received him in a retired part of her gallery, 
and, after a few observations had been exchanged on other 
subjects, he made the proposal in due form, and delivered to 
her the letter from the King and Queen-mother of France. 
She received it, according to Fenelon, with evident satisfaction, 
and replied modestly, but expressed herself so desirous of the 
accomplishment of the marriage, that he was fully convinced of 
her sincerity. She referred him to Leicester and Burleigh, as 
the chosen councillors by whom the conditions of the marriage 
were to be arranged on her part.^ 

The limits of Siis work will not admit of the insertion of the 
official correspondence, on the preliminaries of this marriage, 
that was exchanged on the part of their Majesties of France 
and Queen Elizabeth, but it is among the richest documentary 
specimens of deceit. The state papers of France abound in 
professions of the true love and esteem which impelled Charles 
and Catherine to solicit the hand of the Queen of England, for 
her " devoted servant, monsieur," together with a few apologies, 
for not having come to a positive declaration sooner, " having 
been informed that her Majesty was determined never. to take 
a consort, and that she was accustomed to deride and mock 
every one, who pjretepded to her hand, which had deterred their 
most Christian Majesties from preferring the suit . of their said 

• 1 Dep^ches de Fenelon, voL iv. p. 58. 

Digitized by t@Ogle 



son and brother, and had made monsieur very sad and sore at 

Elizabeth, in her reply, gravely defended herself from the 
charge of "ever having mocked or trifled with any of the 
princely candidates for her hand." She availed herself, at the 
same tinie, of the opportunity of enumerating a few of the most 
considemhle of those. ** When the Krng of S{)Ain first proposed 
. to her," she said, " she immediately excused herself on a scruple 
of conscience, which would not permit her to espouse one, who 
had been her sister's husband ; and as to the Princes of Sweden 
and DenmaA, she had, within eight days, replied to them, 
* that she had ftd inclination then to marry,' so that they had 
no occasion to wait; and as for the proposal of the king, 
Charles IX., which was made when he was very ydiing, she had 
also done all that was proper to let him understand her mind. 
The archduke, she must confess, had been kept longer in 
suspense, because of the troubles and hindrances that were 
happening in the world; but it might nevertheless be seen 
that she had used no deceit towards him." She artfully hinted, 
with regard to Scotland, " that when monsieur should be her 
lord and husband, the prosperity and peace of England would 
be his concern no less than hers, and he would see that, the 
dangers, caused by the intrigues of the Queen of Scots, would 
be more easy to parry while she was in her care, than if she 
were at large."^ 

On the 13th of April, articles were presented, by the French 
ambassador and Cavalcanti, as preliminaries, among which it 
was proposed, that the marriage might be solemnized without 
the ceremonies prescribed by the Catholic ritual ; that monsieur 
and his domestics should have free exercise of their religion ; 
^at, immediately the marriage was concluded, monsieur should 
govern jointly with the queen; and that, the day after the 
consummation <^ the marriage, he should be crowned as the 
husband of the queen, and received by her subjects as king, 
and sixty thousand livres a year should be granted for his 
maintenance. It was replied, on the part of Elizabeth, ** that 
she could not concede the exercise of his religion to the duke, 
but that she would promise, that neither he nor his servants 
should be compelled to use those of her Church. The title of 
king,*' of which she norices, " there was precedent in the case 
of her sistei^s busband, King Philip, she was willing to allow." 
With regard to the pension, she objected, but did not refuse it, 
observing, ^ that King Philip had no manner of thing allowed 

1 La Mothe PenHoiii voL iv. pp. 64, 65. "* Ibid. p. 64. 

Digitized by VjOOg IC 

Elizabeth ^99 

iiim, hot stristakied all his own chai^ge, 8»%d gave also 
to noblemto, gentlemen, and yeomen of our nation good 
entertainment." 1 

She then made some inquiries as to the don^inions^ of the 
prince, and in what manner they were to be inherited, whether 
•by <ifltt:^hter8 as well us sons: She notices, t^at the ahibassador 
had earnestly required ^that if the duke should survive her, 
and have a child Itving, that should be heir to the crown, he 
might retain tbe regal title, with this modification, to be called 
*rex patet ;* and if no dilld should be siarriving, then to be 
called 'rex- dotatius' (king^^owager).** Of this very original 
clause, her Majesty contents herself with observing, **th»t she 
considers it rattier matter of form than substance, and nieeter 
t!o be thought of when greater matters are accorded than in the 
present stage of the business." * 

In a conference between Walsingham and Monsieur de Foix, 
on the subject of the disputed articles, when Walsingham told 
De Foa that the difference on religion appeared the principal 
obstacle, the other replied, " that it was necessary, both for the 
prince's happiness and honour, that he should have some 
religion, and that be believed him to be well disposed in that 
-way, yet not so assuredly grounded but that some change might 
be effected in time, and wi^ the queen's good persuasions ; 
-whereof," continued the Cathcdic negotiator, "we have seen 
good experience of woman's virtue in that way. Constantine 
was converted by his mother Helena, the King of Navarre by 
the queen, his fnie, and therefore can I not doubt but, this 
match proceeding, monsieur will be turned by his wtfe.** To 
this it was replied, on EUiabeth's part, "that although it would 
be a glory to her to imitate the Empress Helena in so great a 
thing, yet k by no means followed that such would be the case 
with regard to monsieur, for there were to the full as many 
wives converted by thdr hu^>ands, as husbands by their 
wives." * 

As to the articles submitted to her on the part of their 
Majesties and monsieur, she found the greatest difficulty in 
those which related to religion, and she wished some of the 
ceremonials, required by the prince, in the inarriage service to 
be omitted. The reply to this was, ** that her Majesty's 
marriage with mon^eur ought to be digni'fied witih all the 
solemnities suited to their relative positions, and that the King 
and Queen of France were sure >she would not tieat the prince 

1 Instnkctioin to^ftlani^aaii fti ^e Complete Ambassador, 84. 

t Ibid. < Cem^tetie Ambassador. . 


300 Elizabeth 

so unkindly, as to wish to deprive hitti of the exercise of his 
religion; neither could she esteem him, if, for the sake of 
worldly advantages, he were to dispense with it." To this 
Elizabeth very obligingly responded, ** that she had herself been 
sacred arxd crowned according to the ceremonies of the 
Catholic Church, and by Catholic bishops, without, however, 
assisting at the mass, and that she would be sorry if she thought 
monsieur was willing to give up his religion, for if he had the 
heart to forsake (rod, he might also forsake her." However, 
she referred all to the Lords Leicester and Burleigh, whom she 
appears to have constituted lord-keepers of her conscience in 
this delicate affair.^ 

In a private conversation with La Mothe Fenelon, Elizabeth 
observed, facetiously, " that one of her reasons for wishing to 
dispense with the elaborate matrimonial service of her proposed 
bridegroom's Church, was on the score of portents, for if 
monsieur, in consequence of so many ceremonies, should 
chance to let the nuptial ring fall on the ground, she should 
regard it as an evil omen." She expressed a great desire for 
him to accompany her sometimes to prayers, that neither she 
nor her people might see any manifestation of ill-will on his part 
towards the Protestant religion. " He need not doubt," she 
said, " of being very honourably provided for by her, in case of 
being the survivor, and, during her life, he and she would have 
all things in common." ^ 

Then she spoke of the praises she had heard of the prince, 
with a fear, put in parenthetically, that he had not received sijch 
advantageous reports of her, and fell to repeating the com- 
mendations she had heard of his sense, prudence, and good 
grace, of his valour and magnanimity, and the beauty and 
elegance of his person, not forgetting to speak of his hand, 
which she had been told was one of the most uncommonly 
beautiful that had ever been seen in France ; " and then," says 
the ambassador, " concluded, with a smile, by telling me, * that 
she \^ould have me told one day by my said lord, if things came 
to a good winding up, that I ought rather to have maintained, 
that a match with her would be more honourable for him^ than 
with the Queen of Scots.'" 

Notwithstanding th^se. flattering words. La Mothe Fenelon 
had his doubts, and in order to come to a clear understanding 
of her Majesty's intentions on this subject, he endeavoured to 
cultivate the good will of the Countess of Lenox, who^ as the 

I Dep£chei dt la Mothe Fenelon, voL it. pp. 65, 66. 
> La Mothe Fenelon. 

Digitized by VjOOg IC 


Elizabeth 301 

first lady in the realm, next to the queen and her nearest rela- 
tive, he supposed would be in the secret All the information, 
however, that Lady Lenox gave him, he says, only amounted to 
this : " That by what she could observe in the queen, she 
seemed to be not only well disposed, but affectionately inclined 
to my said lord ; that she generally talked of nothing but his 
virtues and perfections; that her Majesty dressed better, 
appeared more lively, and more of a belle, than was usual, on 
his account ; but that she did not use much confidence with 
her ladies on this subject, reserving it entirely between herself, 
the Earl of Leicester, and my Lord Burleigh ; so, if I required 
more light on the matter, I must obtain it from one of the 
twain." 1 

On this hint, La Mothe Fenelon applied himself to Leicester 
and Burleigh, and inquired of them, how the nobles of the realm 
stood affected to the match. Leicester replied, " that he had 
sounded the Duke of Norfolk on that point, for he was the 
leader of the ancient nobility, and he had professed himself 
entirely devoted to the wishes of the King of France and his 
brother of Anjou." Some communication had already taken 
place between Norfolk and La Mothe Fenelon on the subject, 
and the latter had promised, that in case the duke made no 
objection to the matrimonial treaty between the French prince 
and Elizabeth, his own marriage with the Queen of Scots would 
be facilitated, through the friendship of the court of France. 
Meantime, one of La Mothers spies informed him, " that the 
opinion of the people was, that the queen neither could, would, 
or ought to espouse monsieur, and that her intention was merely 
to lull the French court on the affairs of Scotland, and also to 
induce the King of Spain to offer better conditions to her, and 
for the satisfaction of some of her subjects; but even if all the 
articles of the contract could be agreed upon, the marriage 
would never take effect, and that leagues were already formed 
to strengthen the malcontents from the dangers that might 
befal from this marriage." ^ 

Elizabeth had, at the same time, received reports of a far 
more annoying nature from her spies in Fiance, and, in her next 
interview with La Mothe, she complained bitterly, " that it had 
been said, in France, • that monsieur would do well to marry 
the old creature, who had had for the last year the evil in her 
leg, which was not yet healed, and never could be cured ; and, 
under that pretext, they could send her a potion from France, 
of such a nature, that he would find himself a widower in the 

I Dep£cKes de la Motbe Feoelon, voL W. * Ibid. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

302 Elizabeth 

course of five or six months, and after that he might please 
himself by marrying the Queen of Scotland, and remain the 
undisputed sovereign of the united realms.' " She added, 
" that she was not so much shocked at this project on her own 
account, as she was from her regard for monsieur, and the 
honour of the r^al house from which he sprang." 

La Mothe, with all the vivacious eloquence of his nation, 
expressed his detestation of the project, and of the p^son by 
whom it had been promulgated ; and entreated the queen to 
name him, that their Majesties of France might punish him. 

Elizabeth replied, with great anger, " that it was not yet the 
proper time to name him, but that it was undoubtedly true, 
and she would soon let them know more about it." ^ 

The next time she vouchsafed an audience to his Excellency, 
was, on the loth of May, in her privy chamber, to which b^ 
was conducted by Leicester and Burl^h. When her Majesty 
entered, she presently gave him a shrewd hint on the sore suib- 
ject, by informing him "that notwithstanding the evil report 
that had been made of her leg, slie had not neglected todanoe 
on the preceding Sunday, at the Marquis of Northamptcm's 
wedding, so Sjhie hoped that monsieur would not find himself 
cheated into marrying a cripple {unboiteus€\ instead of a lady of 
proper paces." ^ That Sunday evening's performance of the 
royal Terpsichore, must have been well worth witnessing. How 
"high and disposedly" she danced on that occasion, and the 
energetic nature of the pirouettes she executed for the honour 
of England, as a public vindication of the activity of her insulted 
limb, may be imagined. 

It was at this crisis, that Walsingham wrote to Elizabeth 
" that the court of France projected a marriage between the 
Duke of Anjou, and Mary Queen of Scots ; and m.atters were so 
far advanced, that the Pope had been applied to, and ha^ 
promised to grant a dispensation ; and that it was detecminedk 
if the treaty for restoring her to her liberty and royal authority 
did not succeed, that an expedition should be iramsediately pre- 
pared for taking her by force of arms from Englan4." Eiizabeth 
was transported with rage and j^lousy at the i4ea» that the 
prince, whose addresses she had condescended to encourage, 
s^ctu^Uy preferred to. her and her soya! dowry,- the deposed, 
Calumniated princess, whose existence. hmng on her fiat. This 
preference;, . though unsought by her beautiful rival, who, 
wrapped,, up in the excitement of her romantic passion for 
Norfolk^ regarded the addresses of all other suitors with cold- 

s Dep£ch^ de la Mothe Fqneloo, voL tv. p. &|.. 8 Ibid* y. ax. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 303 

ness and impatience, was probably the cause of the vindictive 
cruelty, with which the last fiifteen years of the hapless Mary's, 
imprisonment was aggravated, and the many petty mortifications 
which Elizabeth meanly inflicted upon her. Mary's treatment 
at this period was so harsh, that Charles interposed in behalf of 
his hapless sister-in-law, by his ambassador, who^ ceasing to 
speak of the Duke of Anjou, warned Elizabeth, " that unless she 
took means for the restoration of the Queen of Scotland to her 
rightful dignity,' and in the meantime treated her in a kind and 
honourable manner, he 3hould send forces openly to her 

Elizabeth stifled her anger at diis menace, so far as to com* 
mence her reply with deceitful sQftness, " that she wa^ grieved 
that he should always put her friendship at less account than 
that of the Queen of Scots;" and then began angrily to 
enumerate a great number of offences which she had received 
from that lady, before she entered into her realm ; and many, 
and more heinous ones since, by her intrigues with Rome, 
France, and FlanderSj.and lately with the Duchess of Feria, in 
Spain, — of all of which she had such clear prpofs in her 
possession, that she cpuld not but regard her as her greatest 
enemy." ^ 

In June, 1571, Elizabeth wreaked her long-hoarded ven- 
geance on the hoary head of her ancient foe. Dr. Story, who 
had, during her time of trouble, in her sister's reign, loudly 
proclaimed before the convocation, " that it was of litde avail 
destroying the branches, as long as the Princess Elizabeth, the 
root of all heresies, w^ suffered to remain^" On her accession 
he had entered the servic^^ of Philip of Spain; but in the year 
1569, he was taken on board an English ship, on lus voyage to 
London. He was tried on thie charges of magic and treason, 
and condemned to death. One of the daarges against him was, 
that every day before dinner he regularly cursed her Majesty, as 
a part of his grace. The Spanish ambassador endeavoured tO: 
save Story's, live, by clain>ing him as a subject of the Catholic 
king. ^ ■ ". . '■ . -. .: . 

. "The King of Spain may have his Jiead^ ^ he wishes it," 
repKed Elizabeth, "but his body shall be left in Engiand^"^: 

^bout this time the Emperor Maximilian offered. his eld^ 
son^ Prince Rodolph, as a husband for Elizabeth), a youth about 
six months younger than the Duke of Anjou; and Elizabeth 

1 Dep6ches de la Mothe Feoplgn. . . . 

i Sto^ was executed in Sis "etghtietti ytsir. He had been the most pitiless of persecutors, 
and gloried in having inflicted acts of needless cruelty with his own hands. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 


304 Elizabeth 

gave an encouraging reply to the overture. On this, the 
ambitious Queen-mother of France, dreading the loss of so 
grand a match for her son Anjou, conjured him to waive all 
foolish scruples, and win the prize from this powerful rival. 
She even entreated Walsingham to try the effect of his rhetoric 
on her perverse son, in a private conversation, for the purpose 
of prevailing on him to exchange the mass for the crown matri- 
monial of England. 

The prince replied as evasively as Elizabeth herself could 
have done under such temptation, by saying, " that he rather 
desired to become the means of redressing inconveniences than 
causing any, which he trusted would not happen." Not to be 
outdone by Elizabeth's boasts of the numerous matrimonial 
offers she had received, he added, ** that though he was young, 
yet for the last five years there had been many overtures of 
marriage made unto him, but that he found in himself no 
inclination to yield to any, till the present ; but," said he, " I 
must needs confess, that through the great commendations that 
are made of the queen, your mistress, for her rare gifts as well 
of mind as of body, being, as even her very enemies say, the 
rarest creature that has been seen in Europe these five hundred 
years, my affections grounded upon so good respect, make me 
yield to be wholly hers ; and if I thought any inconvenience 
could ensue to her disquiet through me, I would rather wish 
myself never to have been." He then requested, as it touched 
his soul and conscience, that some private place might be 
accorded for the exercise of his own religion in secret. Wal- 
singham replied, by recommending him to dispose himself to a 
devout attendance on the Church service. On which he re- 
joined, "that he knew not how God hereafter would dispose 
his heart, therefore for the present he requested her Majesty to 
weigh, in her own mind, what it was to do anything with scruple 
or remorse of conscience, and so requested Walsingham to 
f>resent his most affectionate and humble commendations to 
her, and to assure her that she only had authority to command 
him." ^ A very dutiful declaration, if it had been sincere. 

Elizabeth had, about the same time, the offer of the young 
hero and hope of the Protestant cause in France, Henri of 
Navarre ; but she gave little encouragement to his suit. Her 
pride was more flattered by the addresses of the princes of the 
royal house of Valbis or Austria. She coquetted with all in 
tiun, both amorously and politically. 

Whenever Elizabeth perceived that the negotiation flagged, 

1 Complete Ambassador, p. loa. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth ^ 305 

she said, " that her inclination for matrimony had decreased, 
and she had in fact never suffered such great constraint since 
her imprisonment in the Tower during her sister's reign, as she 
had done in making up her mind to marry.** ^ She also caused 
reports to be circulated, that she was going to send Sir Henry 
Sidney and Sir James Croft into Spain on a secret mission 
touching the rival candidate for her hand, Prince Rodolph. 
Then the indefatigable Monsieur de la Mothe, alarmed at the 
possibility of such an alliance, redoubled his flatteries and per- 
suasions in behalf of his recreant client, Anjou, whom neither 
gallantry, ambition, nor maternal authority could induce to 
come to England and plead his own cause. 

All, however, that could be effected in the way of deputy 
courtship, was done by our silver-tongued diplomatist, from 
day to day, and still the treaty advanced no further, though 
Leicester affected to be anxious for its completion, and her 
Majesty appeared to be well disposed towards it. One evening, 
in June, she sent for La Mothe Fenelon to go with har into her 
park at Westminster, to witness a salvo of artillery, and a review 
of some arquebusiers, that the Earl of Oxford had led there, 
when she was pleased to say, "that she should not fail to provide 
in good time such pleasures for monsieur ; but that she was 
astonished at the tardy proceedings of his ambassador in coming 
to some conclusion." 

In his despatch of the 9th of July, Monsieur de la Mothe 
informs the Queen-mother of France^ " that he has many times 
inquired of the lords and ladies about the queen, how her 
Majesty stood affected to the marriage, and that one of her 
ladies had told him, that one day when she was alone with the 
queen, her Majesty had of her own accord commenced talking 
of monsieur, and had said, * that up to the present hour, she 
was resolved on the match, and that she hoped much from the 
virtue, valour, praisew;orthy qualities, and good graces that were 
in him; that he wa^ reputed wise, brave, and generous, and 
very amiable, like all the mfetaberS 6f the royal house of France ; 
that he was handsome, but not vain ; and she trusted that he 
would deport iiimself so pleasantly to her subjects, that all 
would be agreeable between him and them, and that they two 
would live very happily together, although some of her nobles, 
who were in the interests of others, would do all they could to 
traverse it. For herself, she confessed, that she had been, and 
still was struggling with many doubts ; for ai he was younger 
than herself, she feared that he would soon despise her, 

1 Dep£cb«t dc Fenelon, voL iv. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

3o6 - Blizabeth 

especially if she should have no children, but that she hoped 
God, in his grace, would give her some ; and, at all events^ she 
would place all her affection on the prince, and love and 
honour him as her lord and husband.' " The lady to whom 
these observations were made endeavoured to encourage her 
royal mistress in her present disposition. 

The next day, however, some of the other ladies slxove to 
infuse toruples into the mind of the queen, by speaking of the 
dangers that were involved in this marriage, and prognosticat- 
ing that she would have cause to repent it; on which her 
Majesty said, ^* that in truth she feared the young prince would 
despise her, and that she neither found herself in health nor 
inclination for a husband, and that she wished to delay the 
treaty till she found herself more disposed to it." This being 
repeated to the French ambassador the.jBam.e. eveniog, he 
hastened to represent to her two male confidants, "that it 
would by no means be advisable for her Majesty to trifle with 
the Duke of Anjou, now matters were so far advanced, for he 
was not to be considered like the King of Sweden, the Duke of 
Holstein, or the archduke, who w«re all poor princes, too far off 
to do her any harm; but monsieur was the best-loved brother 
of a very powerful king, and that he was himself a duke and 
military leader of a very warlike nation ; and so near a neigh- 
bour, that in ten hours he could invade her realm ; and that 
she might be assured he would not brook such treatment as she 
had shewn to the other princes^" 

The next night the queen, while she was undressing to ga to 
bed, sprained her right side so severely that she . was miich 
alarmed, and in great pain with violent ^asm^, for more. than 
two hours, which caused a pause in the. negotiations; after 
which, a ipdyy coimcil was held at the house of the Ead of 
Leicester, to deliberate on the old stumbling-block, the de- 
mands made^ by the Duke of Ai^jOU for the uuiet^trained 
exercise of his religion. As usual,;. much was said, and littlei 
done. The queen could QQt ^rant enough to satisfy the 
scruples of a Catholic ; and ^he had cQn9eded too muph to 
please; the Protestant pprtion of her subjects. Meantime^ 
having, received a portrait of her {^incqly suitor, she sept for 
the French ambassador to discuss it witl^ him. Sl^e said, 
"although it was done in crayons, ,and his complexion had 
beep chafed and injured with the chalks, enough of the linea- 
ments remained tp indicate great beautyj and marks of digi^ty 
and prudence, 9,u^ she CQuld easily see thq naanner of a perfect 
man." Then she adverted to the disparity of age between her- 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 307 

self and the prince, ami said, " that, considenng ber time of 
life, she should be ashamed to be eonduiCted to church, to be 
manied to anj one looking as young as the Earl of Oxford," 
who was the same age as her bridegroom elect; "but that 
monsieur had such a modest and dignified mien, with so great 
an appearance of gravity and wisdom, that no one could say 
but he looked seven years older than he was, and she only 
wished that it really were so, not because those years would 
hare given him the crown of France, which in right of primo- 
geniture pertained to his brother, (for would to God that she 
might never desire anything more,) it being well known what 
pain she had been in about his Majesty's wound, and her fear 
lest h should have ended in making monsieur so great, that he 
would not have required the grandeur she had it in her power 
to bestow upon him ; her only reason for wishing him to be 
older was, tlmt he might not find such a great disparity between 
them, for she ccmfessed to "have seen thirty-five years, although 
neither her countenance faor her disposition indicated that she 
was so old." ^ 

As Elizabeth was bom in 1533, she was thsee years older 
thsufi she told the ambassador ; but so far firom correcting her 
small miscalculation on the delicate point, he courteously re- 
plied, ** that God had so well preserved her Majesty, that time 
had diminished none of her charms and perfections, and that 
monsieur looked older than her by years ; that the prince had 
shewn an unchangeable desire for their union, and he- (Monsieur 
de la Mothe) doubted not, that she would find m his said lord, 
everything that she could wish, for ber honour, grandeur^ the 
security, and the repose of her realm, with the most perfect 
happiness for hersek." All this ^er Majesty received with 
great satisfaction; and everything appeared to progress favourr 
ably towards the coimipletion oi tb» matrimonial treaty. 

Elizabeth sent her portrait to Anjou, and ultimately declared 
her ftill determination to espcm&e him, and to graqt him the 
free exercise of his reiigion in private ; when lo 1 the unfor- 
tunate youth, who had rdied on her caprice aiid insincerity, 
had no other way of jescape, but decl«riiag he would not go to 
England, unless he could be allowed the full and public pro* 
fession. of the CaHioUc religion; on which his disappointed 
mother-queen penned the following letter,^ in which her 
hypocrisy is fully displayed; for if she had believed in ithe 

1 Deptehw^^dtt la Mothe Fenelon, voL ir. pp^ z86, 187^ 

> Despatches of La Mothe Fenelon, voL vu. p. 234, written entirely in the queea's haadb 
(Catherine de Medicis.) 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 



religion for which she committed so many crimes, could she 
have been so angry because her son refused to compromise it ? 
or ought she to have vowed vengeance on his adviser ? 


" As 1 place particular confidence in you, I will not hide from you 
that the humour in which I find my son Anjou, has ^iven me great pain. 
He is utterly determined not to go over to England, without having a pub- 
lic assurance for the open exercise of his religion ; and neither the king, 
nor I, can prevail on him to rely on the word of the Queen of England. 
We suspect, very strongly, that Villequier, Lignerolles, or Sauret — possibly 
all three together — are the originators of these fantasies. If we could have 
assurance that such were the case, I can assure you, that they should repent 

'* For all this, I would not that we reveal it, since it is possible, we may 
work something on his mind, or on that of the queen, (Elizabeth.) 

*' If, unfortunately, matters do not accord for my son (Anjou) as I could 
wish, I am resolved to try all efforts to succeed with my son Alen^on, who 
would not be so difficult Meantime, as we. propose to make a league with 
this queeu to attach her the more to us, and distance the son of the emperor 
and others, let no hint of this appear ; but bum this present, after having 
read it, and believe nothing that may be told you, and nothing that is 
written to you, save that which bears the king's signature, or mine ; ^ and 
this you are told not without reason, for those who desire not that things 
should be as they are (thanks be to God), so well advanced and disposed to 
be successful, have artifices enough to write and publish which they think 
may hinder the good work. Praying to God for you, &c. &c. 

'* At Fontainebleau, this Thursday, xxv. day of July, 1571. 


On the 31st of July, Monsieur de la Mothe informs Catherine 
de Medicis, " that Queen Elizabeth, on the previous Tuesday, 
filled one of her own little work-baskets, which always stood in 
her cabinet, witfi beautiful apricots ; and desired the Earl of 
Leicester to send it to him, with her commendations, that he 
might see that England was a country good enough to produce 
fair fruits." Leicester employed his secretary to deliver her 
Majesty's present and message to the ambassador, and to 
inquire, if he had had any news, from France, for the satisfac- 
tion of the queen, whom he assured him " he had never seen 
in better health or spirits than at present ; and that she would 
not go Out in her coach any more to the chase, but on a fine 
large horse." • 

" I replied," continues our diplomat, " that I thanked the 

l.CaUieniM de Madicts plays on the words osturMteg uadarturt exactly thus in the 
original French : — 

Si nouspouvoHS^ *n avoir ^ aukutu asseuranceje vous assturequ*ils s*en refentiront, 

3 It might be thought this caution was superfluous to an ambassador, eqiecially to so 
careful a man as La Mothe. 

s Dep£ches de la Mothe Fenelon, voL iv. p. 20a 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 309 

earl very much, for the continuation of his good will towards 
me; and that I entreated him to kiss her Majesty's hands, 
very humbly in my name, and to assist me in thanking her 
properly for her greeting, and beautiful present, and added, 
* that these fine apricots shewed very well that she had fair and 
good plants in her realm, where I wished the grafts from France 
might in time produce fhiits even more perfect' " This last 
compliment was intended as an illusion to the marriage, which 
was then in negotiation between the queen and the Duke of 
Anjou. Some delay had occurred in the arrival of communi- 
cations from France, at which it should seem her Majesty was 
impatient ; for, on the 5th of August, she sent a gentleman to 
the ambassador, with the present of a fine stag, which she had 
shot with her own hand, with an arblast, or cross-bow, and 
inquired again " if he had any news from France ? " 

" The Earl of Leicester," writes Monsieur de la Mothe, " has 
sent to me, ' that the queen, his mistress, having seen this great 
stag, as she was hunting at Oatlands, and wishing to kill it, 
that she might send me the venison of her forests, as well as 
the fruits of her gardens, that I might be the better able to 
judge of the goodness of her land, called hastily for an arblast, 
and with one blow from the bolt, she had herself broken its 
leg, and brought it down ; and her old lord chamberlain had 
finished killing it.' I was at the time assured, that the said 
lady persevered in her good intentions towards monsieur ; and 
often talked of the agreeable pleasures and exercises they 
should take together, in hunting and visiting the beautiful 
places in her kingdom; but that she considers, that your 
Majesties are very tardy in your replies, and thinks it strange 
that she has not yet had the portrait of monsieiu* in large, and 
in colours." That which had been sent about a month before, 
was evidently only a sketch in black chalks. Two portraits 
from the skilful hand of Janet were afterwards sent — one to 
shew the face, the other the figure of the prince; but the 
original, though Elizabeth had so frequently intimated how 
agreeable a visit from him would be, remained obstinately on 
the other side the water, whence reports were perpetually trans- 
mitted by Walsingham, sometimes of his projected marriage 
with the Queen of Scots, and at others with her venerable rival 
the Princess of Portugal 

The detection of the share the French ambassador had 
taken in the Norfolk plot, had the effect of suspending the 
negotiations, for the alliance between Elizabeth and the Duke 
of Anjou, and though Burleigh, in one of his oracular letters to 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

3IO Elizabeth 

Walsingham, at this crisis, writes : — '< Truly, the more nmtters 
are discovered, the more^ necessary it is seen that her Majesty 
should marxy "-r-all attempts to agitate the matter proved 
abortive. The reactance of the proposed bridegroom was*, in 
hct, insurmountable, though the farce was earned on. ra* few 
weeks longer. .i.. . 

When Anjou told his ribald companion, the Mareschal 
Tavannes, 'ithat the Earl of Leicester had endearofured to 
forwaztd' his 'marriage with the Queen of England, '^ the other 
profanely rejoined, "My Lord Robert would marry yoa to 
his" friend; make him marry Chateauneuf, who Is yours,'' ^ 
Leicester having importuned ior a French lady of xaoak as a 

Elizabeth honoured ha- kinsman, Lord Hansdon, with a 
visit in September, 157 1, at his mansion, Hunsdon House. A 
curious contemporary painting, in the possession of the Earl 
of Oxford, is supposed to commemorate this event, and the 
manner of the royal approach. The queen is seated in a 
canopied chair of state, carried by six gendemen, preceded by 
Knights of the Garter, and followed by a procession ci the most 
distinguished ladies of the household-^ey are all portraits. 
Henry Lord Hunsdon carries the sword of state before her 
Majesty. Among the Knights of the Garter, Leicester walks 
nearest to the queen ; then my Lord Treiasurer, Burleigh, with 
his white staff, and Charies Howard the admiral, afterwatds 
Earl of Nottingham ; followed by Sussex; Russell, and Qinton, 
eadi adorned with a profile portrait of her Majesty, pendant 
from a ribbon. The ladies are all richly jewelled, and Elizabedi 
herself, according to custom, outdoes the queen of diamonds 
in her bravery. She is represented of a comely and majestic 

The picture is conjectured to have been painted by Mark 
Gerrard, Elizabeth's court painter, and it has been splendidly 
engraved by Vertue, among his historic prints ; a posthumous 
portrait of Mary Boleyn, Lord Hunsdon's mother, and aunt to 
the queen, appears in the backgroumd, in a grave dark dress ; 
Lady Hunsdon is in white, and nearest to the queen. Lady 
Knollys^ his sister, and the young Catherine Carey, his 
daughbetv who afterwards married her coostn, Charted Howard, 
the lord admiral, are also among the dramatis person^ of 
tliis reinarkable pictura 

We fold, by Stowe, that the queen was carried to St. Paol'Sy 

1 The Cooatcts Cbateaniieuf was tht AfitrMs of i3xt Duke otA^qtu • 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 311 

occasionally, after this fashion, which reminds us of the pro- 
cession of a pagan goddess surrounded by her priests and 
worshippers, or the ovation of a Roman conqueror, rather than 
the transit of a Christian queen in civilized times. The semi- 
barbarous display of pomp and homage suited the theatrical 
taste of Elizaoetlv who inherited the, pride and vanity of both 
her parent^ and understood little of the delicacv and reserve 
of an English gentlewoman, which, even in the days of Alfred, 
deterred royal females from exhibiting themselves to the vulgar 
m a manner unbefitting the modesty of their sex. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 


Elizabeth discovers Norfolk's implication in Ridolfi's plot— Scene with the French 
ambassador — Her anger — Her observation 'touching her wedding— Anjou breaks his 
faith with ber^Hb younger brother offered to her in bis place— EUuabetti's vexation — 
Her rejoinder to the Spanish ambassador — Her reluctance to Norfolk's execution 
— Signs his death-warrant— Revokes it— Her angry letter to the Queen of Soots- 
Dangerous illness of Elizabeth— Her marriage treaty with Alen^on — Her Maundy— 
Alen^on's portrait sent to her — Execution of Norfolk — Parliament urges her to 
execute the Queen of Scots— Elisabeth's noble reply— Signs a treaty with France — 
Elizabeth's fStes, &c., and Sunday amusements — Dissimulation — Flattered by La 
Mothe Fenelon— Alen^on's letter— Elizabeth objects to his youth, ugliness, &c — 
Deliberates on curing his defects— Elizabeth's praise of Catherine de Medicis— Entry 
into Warwick— Receives the French ambassadors there— Their flattery, and marriage 
discussions— Warwick fired by the fireworks at a festival in Elizabeth s honour— Her 
reception of the French ambassador after the massacre of St. Bartholomew — Her 
project for betraying the Queen of Scots — Her parsimony — She continues secretly 
her marriage treaty with AlenQon — She has the small-pox — Her recovery— Facetious 
observations — ^Accepts the office of sponsor to^ Charles IX. 's in&nt — Scene^ in the 
privy council — Love letter from Alengon to Elizabeth — ^Asks permission to visit her 
— She demurs — Court gossip — Favours the Earl of Oxford — Interferes in his quarrel 
with Sir Philip Sidney — Her progress in Kent, &c. — Her visit to Canterbury — 
Feasted by the Archbishop of Canterbury — Treats with^ the French envojr— Dinner 
at St. Austin's Hall — Her visit to Sandwich — ^Entertained by mayor's wife, &&— 
Surveys the dodcyards at Chatham. 

While Elizabeth was deluding herself into something like an 
imaginary passion for the youthful heir-presumptive of France, 
her kinsman, the Duke of Norfolk, had resumed his interdicted 
correspondence with the captive Queen of Scots, and the luck- 
less lovers had suffered themselves to be entangled by the 
intriguing Florentine banker, Ridolfi, in the meshes of a 
political plot, of the full tendency of which they appear not to 
have been aware.^ Its ostensible object was the liberation of 
Mary, her marriage with Norfolk, and her restoration to her 
rightful throne. As this could not be effected without foreign 
aid, Mary and Norfolk empowered Ridolfi to apply to the Duke 
of Alva. 

Alva by no means approved of his client, whom he regarded 
as a chattering visionary, half madman, half knave, but as it 
was the policy of his sovereign to cause all the annoyance in 
his power to the Queen of England, he promised to assist the 
confederates with ten thousand men in the following spring. 
Letters to that effect were found on the person of Baily, the 
Queen of Scots* courier from France, and a watchful eye was kept 
on all parties. Meantime, Fenelon, by Mary's desire, furnished 

1 The details of this foolish business may be seen in Camden, Lingard, and other 
historians of Elizabeth's reign. The intelligent research of my lament^ firicnid, the late 
Mr. Howard of Corby, among the records of Siman^as, has brought to Ugnt many 
ciurtous particulars connected with the intrigues of Ridolfi, which are printed in the last 
supplementary appendix of the Howard Memorials, for private circulation. 

^^^ Digitized by Google 

Elizabeth 313 

two tnousand crowns in gold for the relief of her faithful friends 
in Scotland. These the Duke of Norfolk undertook to forward, 
and his servant, Higford, gave the bag to a person of the name of 
Brown, telling him it was silver for the duke's private use, and 
bidding him deliver it to Banister, his lord's steward Brown, 
judging by the Weight of the bag that it contained gold, carried 
it to the council. It was opened, and letters in cipher dis- 
covered, which betrayed the whole business. Norfolk was 
arrested, and the letters from the Queen of Scots, which Higford 
had been ordered to bum, but had treacherously preserved, 
were found under the mats of his chamber door, and the key 
of the cipher in which they were written under the tiles of the 

There is something peculiarly revolting in the fact, that Eliza- 
beth should have been so callous to all the tender sympathies of 
the female character, as to enjoin the application of torture to 
extort a confession, against their unfortunate lord, from Barker 
and Banister, two of the Duke of Norfolk's servants. She 
says: — 

"If they shall not seem to you to confess plainly their knowledge, then 
we warrant you to cause them both, or either of them, to be brought to the 
rack ; and first to move them with fear thereof, to deal plainly in their 
answers ; and if that shall not move them, then you shall cause them to be 
put to the rack, and to find the taste thereof^ until they shall deal more 
plainly, or until you shall think meet."^ 

Two days subsequent to the date of this warrant. Sir Thomas 
Smith writes thus to Lord Burleigh respecting Barker's, 
Banister's, and the other examinations : — 

" I suppose we have gotten so much as at this time is likely to be had, 
yet to-morrow do we intend to bring a couple of them to the rack, not in 
any hope to get anything worthy xSaX pain and fear, but because it is so 
earnestly commanded to us." ' 

Melancholy comment on the royal order ! 

When the confessions of Higford, and others of his servants, 

1 Camden. Despatches of Fenelon. Lingard. 

2 Letter of warrant, addressed to Sir Thomas Smith and Dr. Wilson, MS. Cotton. 
Calig.' c. ill. fol. 239. 

8 Murdin's State Papers. The case of Barker and Banister was not, we lament to add, 
a solitary instance of the use of torture in the reign of £llzabeth. The history of the 
Tower of London teems with records of the cruelties that were, in the years X580-X, 
inflicted upon the recufants, and other state prisoners, with whom the jealous policy of her 
ministers bad peopled its gloomy cells. Some persons were confined ma dungeon twenty 
feet below the suruice of the earth ; others in " litel ease," where they had neither room 
to stand upright, nor to lay down at full I«igth. Some were put to the rack, or placed in 
Skivington's irons, vulgarly called the " scavenger's daughter," {.scavengtri Aliam^ an 
iron instrument, oy wnich ,head, feet, and hands were boimd together. }A.9X\y were 
dbaincd and fettered, while others, still more unfortunate,' had their hands forced into 
iron gloves, which were much too small, or were subjected to the horrid torture of the 
boot. (Bayley'fi History of the Tower of London.) . 

Digitized by VjOOQ iC 

314 Elizabeth 

were read to the unfortunate nobleman, he exclaimed, in the 
bitterness of his heart, " I am betrayed and undone by mine 
own people, for not knowing how to distrust, which is the only 
sdnew of wisdom \" ^ 

Ridolfi deposed before the council, " that the Catholics were 
resolved to seize the queen's person, or to assassinate her, 
during one of her progresses in the country, and that the 
Marquis Vitelli had offered to strike the blow." The Pope, 
the King of Spain, and the Bishop oi Ross, were all stated to 
be cognizant of these intentions, but the Duke of Norfolk 
passionately denied having the slightest evil intention against 
his royal mistress -, he acknowledged that he had been undutiful 
in disobeying her commands, but that he would have died a 
thousand deaths rather than have suffered her to be harmed.^ 

The queen was greatly irritated, especially against the Bishop 
of Ross, whom she had at one time determined to put to death. 
While her indignation was at iiks height, the Frendi ambassador 
came to intercede for the bishops and presented a letter in his 
behalf from Charles IX., which he prayed her Majesty to take 
in good part. The queen read the letter, and replied, angrily, 
"that she could not take it in good part that the King of 
France should have written to her in that fashion, for the 
bishop had been plotting against her, to introduce foreigners 
as invaders of her realm, who were to be joined, she found, by 
some of her own subjects, and that there was a conspiracy to 
declare her illegitimate, and to place the Queen of Scots on 
her throne ; for whidi, as he had violated the character of an 
ambassador, she had imprisoned him. ** She said, '^she wished 
to know to whom the Bishop of Ross, had written two letters, 
marked 40 and 30, sin<% the Spanish ambassador and the 
Queen of Scots had affirmed that it was not to them;"* and 
significantly observed, **that the King of France, who had 
been implicated in the confederacy against her, wished, she 
supposed, to exemplify the truth of tlus saying of MachiavelU — 

"*The friendship of princes does not go beyond their 

Charles might have retorted, that all the domestic troubles 
by which tus realm was convulsed, had been, in like manner, 
fomented by Elizabeth. He had been especially incensed at 
the protection afforded by her to the Count Montgomeri, by 
whose erring lance his royal father had been slain at the bridal 
tournament twelve years before, and who had since distin- 
guished himself as one of the Huguenot leaders* After the 

1 Camden. ' Ibid. * LaMothe Feneloo. ^ Ibid. voLur. pw us* 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 315 

defeat of bis party at Monccatour, Montgomeri had taken 
vefi^ 'm England. Charles demanded by his ambasoaidbr^ 
that be sbould be given up. '* Tdl 39011? master,'' said Elizi^ 
beth, ^^ that I. ^all answer him,, in this cas^ as his father once 
did my sister, when siome of her traitors having fled to France, 
she demanded that justice might be done cm them, to which 
he re|>Ued, * I see no reason why I should be the Queen of 
England's hangman ; * and such is my answer touching Mont* 
gomeri." ^ 

As neither Charles nor Elizabeth wore prepared for open 
hostility, they contented themselves with doing each other aU» 
the ill tums they could, under the name of friendship^ exchang- 
ing meanwhile all tfaei compliments and affectionate professions 
that the deceitful tempers of either could devise. On the iith> 
of November, the French ambassador gave a banquet at his 
own house to Leicester, Burleigh, the admiral,, and the other 
members of Elizabeth's cabinet ; on which occasion, Leicester 
enlarged on the aflection borne by his royal mistoess to the King 
of France, and assured La Mothe, " that nothing could disunite 
them, unless: it were interference with her Majesty in the affairs 
of Scotland; and at the same time openly avowc^i, that it was 
not her uitention ever to liberate the Scotti^ queen." 

The court of Elizabeth was enlivened by fouc weddings^ 
December 22 ; that of the sister of the Earl of Huntingdon 
with the son of the Earl of Worcester, the eldest dau^ter 
of the Lord. Chambedain with Lord Dudky,. the dauber 
of Burleigh wit& the Earl of Oxford, and the Lord Paget 
with. a. rtdi yonng widow. Elizabeth honoured the nuptials 
of the daughter of her premier, with, the re^xesentaiive of. 
the ancient line of De Vere, with her presence, and, becocaing 
a litde meny at the wedding feast, she was phased to observe 
to the French ambassador,, "that so many maniages at one 
time seenaed tO' heir a presage ^ that her own would sooa tal^ct 

Monsieur de la Mothe, though wdl aware of the state of the 
handsome and reckless Henry of Anjou's feelings towards, hia 
royal jfiande, made a complimentary reply to tbis intimation, 
and took care to diarge the blame of the tardy progress of &e 
treaty on her Majesty's confid)ential*advbers. 

It was a singular coincidence, that the month of January, 
1572, was. fraught with the condemnation cf Mary Stuart's 
^iianced lover^ the Duke of Norfolk, and the rupture of the 
matrimonial treaty between: the. Duke of Anjou .and Queeo 

1 La Mothe FeodoA) «9L aai. * Dt^f^chm dt; k MttlketPenelOT^ voL iv. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

3i6 Elizabeth 

Elizabeth. Matters had indeed come to such a pass, that 
Elizabeth perceived, that if she would avoid the mortifiGation 
of being refused by that prince, she must refuse him, on the 
grounds of religious scruples. She expressed her regrets " at 
the necessity that compelled her to decline the alliance, and 
hoped, that neither the King of France nor monsieur would 
consider her fickle; but, till the last communication she 
received from them, she had flattered herself that the disputed 
points might have been arranged." ^ 

The plenipotentiaries of France, who had long been aware 
of the impossibility of inducing their wilful prince to fulfil the 
engagements which had been promised and vowed in his name, 
felt themselves relieved from an embarrassing dilemma by the 
declaration of Elizabeth ; and the very same day proposed, as 
a candidate for her Majesty's hand, the Duke of Alengon, the 
younger brother of Henry of Anjou, who was disposed to be 
more complying on the subject of religion than the said Henry. 
The first hint touching this absurd alliance, was given to Bur- 
leigh and Leicester, and not, on the whole, unfavourably 
received, though one of them exclaimed, in his first surprise, 
that " the royal pair would rather remind people of a mother 
and son, than of a husband and wife." Particular inquiries 
were then made as to the prince's age, and especially what was 
his precise height. The artful Frenchman had no distinct 
remembrance on these points. 

Burleigh, who was sick of an intermittent fever and cold, 
caught at the marriage of his daughter with the young Earl of 
Oxford, wrote to Walsingham, the 23rd of January, 1571-2, in 
allusion to this new suitor of the royal house of France. '' In 
the matter of the third person, newly offered, his age, and other 
qualities unknown, maketh one doubtful how to use speech 
thereof. The ambassador hath dealt, as he saith, secretly with 
me ; and I have shewed no argument from one hand or the 
other, but fear occupieth me more in this cause of her 
marriage, whom God suffered to lose so much time, than for 
my next fit" 

When the premier broke the matter to Elizabeth, and told 
her, " that the treaty of alliance proposed with the Duke of 
Alengon would be attended with the same political advantages as 
that lately negotiated for Anjou." Her Majesty replied, quickly, 
"that, however suitable it might be in other respects, there was 
too great a disproportion in age, as well as stature, between 
them;" and asked, "how tall the Duke of Alen9on was?" 

1 Deptehct dc la ModM Feneloo, voL £▼. p. 354. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 317 

" About your Majesty's own height," was the reply. Eliza- 
beth was not to be put off with generalities on such important 
points — she insisted on date and measurement being produced. 
Burleigh applied to the ambassadc»r for these, and both were 

Notwithstanding the semblance of indifference assumed by 
Elizabeth, on the rupture of the matrimonial treaty with Henry 
of Anjou, it was a bitter mortification to her in reality ; for 
Burleigh writes, in confidence to Walsingham, " this matter of 
monsieur is here grievously (in secret) taken, and surely it was 
not here well used, in drawing it out at length, which was 
politically done ; so hath it not there been friendly ordered, and 
yet I do not so shew mine opinion of her Majesty's stomaching 
that part, where the amity is so needful." ^ Thus it appears that 
the suavity, with which the ridiculous proposal of the youngest 
brother of France was received, proceeded at first, not from the 
coquetry of Elizabeth, but the diplomacy of Burleigh, who was 
determined not to allow his sovereign to take an affront with the 
court of France. Her Majesty in consequence smothered her 
resentment, and revenged herself by playing on the maternal 
ambition of the queen-mother, and tantalized her for years 
with delusive hopes that she might be induced to share her 
crown with the ugly untoward imp, Alengon. 

Burleigh appears to have done all in his power to induce the 
queen to entertain the proposal He even wrote out (some 
say, made) an astrological calculation of her Majesty's nativity, 
by which it seemed " that the stars decreed that she was to 
marry a young man, a stranger, who had never been married ; 
that she would have by him a son, healthy, famous, and fortunate 
in his mature age ; that she would highly esteem her husband, 
would live with him many years, and also survive him." ^ The 
fact was, Burleigh did not mean the queen to marry at all, and 
judged that the negotiations with Alengon would amuse and 
prevent her from looking out for another husband, till it was 
too late to think of matrimony. This proved to be the case. 

Early in this year arrived a deputy from Flanders, with a 
message from the Duke of Alva, announcing to Queen Eliza- 
beth the accouchement of the Queen of Spain, and informing 
her, " that the king, his master, who was despatching a courier 
to the emperor at the same time, had not had leisure to write 
to her, to ask her congratulations on the birth of the son which 
God had given him, but that he had charged the Duke of Alva 
to do so, in his name, by ^a special messenger." 

1 Complete Ambassfedor, Digges, p. i6& > Strype's Ap 

Digitized fc 

Appendix. , 


3i8 Elizabeth 

Elizabeth teplied with infinite disdain, '^that she rejoiced at 
the good luGkt)f the King of Spain, but not at the fashion in 
which it had been made known to her^ foras^a counei' had 
beeh despatched so jSeu* ex{n*ess for that purpose, he might have 
been delayed a few moments, or even an hour, to write thse 
same tiling whidh the Duke of Alva had sent to her." ^ 

The messenger requested leave, through the Spanish am- 
bassador, to remain till they should receive some communica- 
tion from their sovereign, to which she replied, ** that in four 
days she would let them know her pleasure ; " but before that 
time, she sent her orders to the ambassador to depart, but 
detained his maitre d*hdtel as a prisdner, on a charge of having 
conspired against Ix)rd Burleigh. 

Elizabeth held the axe suspended over her unfortunate 
kinsman, the Duke of Norfolk, for many weeks, during which 
time earnest supplication was made for his life, by his mother, 
sister, and the French ambassador. He endeavoured himself 
to mollify her by his submissive deportment, though he behaved 
like a faithful and stainless knight, with regard to his royal love, 
the captive Queen of Scots. Early in February, Elizabeth 
issued her warrant and order foir his execution on the following 
morning ; and at eleven at night her mind misgave her, and 
she sent to revoke it 

Burleigh, who, some months before, had offered to save the 
life of this great peer if he would resign his pretensions to the 
hand of the Queen of Scots, and marry his sister, had, on his 
declining, though with all possible courtesy, an alliance so 
unsuitable in point of birth, conceived the most vindictive 
batred for him, and sorely grudged at these indications of the 
Toyal disposition to mercy. In one of his letters to Walsingham, 
dated February nth, he says : — 

" I cannot write to y<>u what is the inward stay of the Duke 
of Norfolk's death, only I find her Majesty diversely disposed. 
"Sometimes, when she speaketli of her danger, she conchideth 
that justice should be done ; another time, *when she speaketh 
of his nearness of blood, (meaning his dose degree of relation- 
ship to herself,) of his supericffity in honour, she stayeth. On 
S^urday, she signed a warrant for the writs to the sheriffs of 
London for his execution on Monday; and so all preparations 
wer^ made, with the expectation of all London, and concourse 
of many thousands yesterday in the morning, but theii^ coming 
was answered with anoth^ ordinary eicecution of Mather and 
Bumey, for conspiring the queen's majest/s death, and of 

>l)esiMitcfa«sofLallatkeFeBdo» _ . 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 319 

one Ralph, for counterfeiting her Majesty's hand twi^e, to get 
<:oncealed lands. And flie cause of this disappointment was 
this :-^suddenly on Sunday, late in the night, the queen's 
majesty sent for me, and entered into a gi^eat misliking that 
the duke should die the next day, and said, she wus and should 
be disquieted, and ^ that she would have a new wairant made 
that night to the sheriffs to forbear until they should heaor 
further,' and so they did. God's will be Rilfilled, and aid her 
Majesty to do bersetf good.^' ^ 

Noifolk was nearly allied in blood to the queen, and whether 
from' that cause, or from the consciousness of his accomplish- 
ments and great popularity, she appears to have entertained 
many, misgivings before she could resolve to carry the sentence 
against him into effect. Through the incessant importunity of 
Burleigh and Leicester, she again signed an order for his 
execution on the 27th, and revoked it the next morning, two 
horns before day. Two other warrants were afterwards signed 
and revoked in the same manner. 

The last letter of revocation, the original of which is written 
entirely in the queen^s own hand, is extremely curious, and 
worthy of the reader's attention, it is addressed to Lord Burleigh, 
and is as follows : — 

** MY LORD, 

•* Metbiiis that I am more beholden to the hinder part of my head 
than will dare trust the forwanl side of die same, and therefore sent the 
lieutenant and the S., as jou know best, the order to defer this execution 
till they hear further. And that this may be done, I doubt nothix^g, without 
curiosity of my further warrant,' for that this rash determination upon a 
very unfit day, was countermanded by your considerate admonition. The 
causes that move me to this are not now to be expressed, lest an irrevocable 
deed be in meanwhile committed. If they will need a warrant, let this 
suffice^ all written with my own hand. Your most loving* soverame, 

•* Elizabeth lU" 

This letter is indorsed in Lord Burleigh's hand :— 

<*xi, ApL 157^. 

" The Q. Majy. with 
her own hand, for 
staying of l!he execution 
of t^ D.N. 
K. at 2 in the morning."^ 

Elizabeth appears to have been much exaspec^ted, at this 
painful crisis, by a letter addressed by the Queen of Scots to 
the Duke of Alva, which was unfortunately intercepted. When 
she gave an audience to Monsieur du Croc, who had jnst 

1 Complete Ambassador, Sir Dudley Digges. > Ellis' Roy^Letters., 

Digitized by VjOOg IC 

320 Elizabeth 

arrived on a mission from France, and wished to obtain 
permission to see Mary, and also to convey her to France, 
she told him, " she would not grant either request, and took a 
paper out of her pocket," says La Mothe Fenelon, " which she 
shewed us was a letter in cipher, and we recogniz^ that it was 
really signed by the Queen of Scotland's hand. She then read 
to us a portion of the decipherment, which was addressed to 
the Duke of Alva, exhorting him to send ships to the coast of 
Scotland, to carry off the prince her son, whom she had 
committed to the King of Spain." Unfortunately, Mary adverted 
to the state of affairs in England in this letter, and said, " that 
she had a strong party there, and of the lords who favoured 
her cause, of whom, although some were prisoners, the .Queen 
of England would not dare to touch their lives." She con- 
cluded, by expressing a hope " that the whole island would, by 
these means, in time be restored to the Catholic Church."^ 

La Mothe goes on to say, that Elizabeth's comments on this 
decipherment were very bitter, and she enlarged angrily on all 
the plots, which she said " the Queen of Scots had devised to 
deprive her of her life and royal estate." 

It was this letter which, probably, decided the fate of Norfolk, 
for Elizabeth was not of a temper to brook the opinion, that 
she dared not touch the life of the mightiest in her realm, who 
had offended her, although the noble blood, that she was 
preparing to shed on a scaffold, was the same that flowed in 
her own veins, the duke and herself being the descendants 
of the same great-grandfather — the victorious Earl of Surrey, 
afterwards Duke of Norfolk. 

Elizabeth vented a portion of the vindictive rage, that was 
rankling in her heart, against her royal captive, Mary Stuart, 
by replying in the following bitter terms to several piteous 
letters, of supplicatory remonstrance, which the latter had 
written to her from the bed of sickness : — 

Queen Elizabeth to Mary Queen of Scots.' 

* Fefamary xst, X57x-a. 

'* Of late time I have received divers letters from you, to the which, 
you may well guess, by the accidents of the time, why I have not 
made any answer, but specially because I saw no matter in them that 
required any answer, as could have contented yon ; and to have discon- 
tented you, had been but an increase of your impatience, which I thought 
time would have mitigated, as it commonly doth, where the cause thereof 
is not truly grounded, and that it be so understood ; but now, finding biy 

' 1 DepAdies de la Moth« Fenelon, t.>1. iv. pp. 393, 394. 

s MS. Coctonian Calig. c. iiL foL 141. Enaoned '* Minute of a letter sent to the 
Queen of Soots." 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 321 

your last letter, the 27th of the last (month), an increase of your impatience, 
tending, also, to many uncomely, passionate, and vindictive speeches, 1 
thought to change my former opinion, and, by patient and advised words, 
to move you to stay, or else to qualify your passions, and to consider, that 
it is not the manner to obtain good things with evil speeches, nor benefits 
with injurious challenges, nor to get good to yourself with doing evil to 

" And yet, to avoid the fault which, I note you have committed, in filling 
a long letter with a multitude of sharp and injurious words, I will not, by 
way of letter, write any more of the matter, but have rather chosen to 
commit to my cousin, the Earl of Shrewsbury, the thmgs which I have 
thought meet, upon the reading of your letters, to be imparted unto you, 
as in a memorial, in writing, he hath to shew you ; wherewith I think, if 
reason be present with you, and passion absent at the reading, you will 
follow, hereafter, rather the course of the last part of your letter than the 
first, the latter being written as in a calm, and the former in a storm. 
Wishing you the same grace of God that I wish to myself, and that he may 
direct you to desire and attain to that which is meet for his honour, and 
your quietness, with contentation both of body and mind. Given at my 
palace of Westminster, the ist day of February, 1571-2. 

** Your cousin, that wisheth you a better mind, 

** Elizabeth." 

It is very probable that the sudden and dangerous attack of 
illness with which Elizabeth was seized, about the 20th of 
March, was caused by the mental conflict she certainly suffered 
at this anxious period. This illness appears to have been severe 
inflammation of the chest and stomach, attended with agonizing 
pain ; and, according to the temper of the times, it was at first 
attributed to poison, though her Majesty's physicians declared, 
" that it was occasioned by her contempt for physic, and utter 
neglect of such potions as they considered necessary to keep 
her in health." But, from whatever cause it originated, her 
illness was most alarming to her Cabinet, and with good cause, 
considering how deeply one and all stood committed with the 
captive heiress of the realm. The whole court awaited the 
event in breathless suspense — the two whom it most concerned, 
Leicester and. Burleigh, watched three whole nights by her 
bedside, and the French ambassador detained his courier, who 
was ready to start with his despatches, till it was decided 
whether her Majesty would live or die. The shadow of death 
passed from over her, after five days of intense pain, and, as 
soon as she was convalescent, she again issued her mandate 
for the execution of the Duke of Norfolk ; and, for the fourth 
time, revoked her order. This was the 17 th of April. 

Meantime, a lively dialogue on the affairs of England and 
her queen, took place in the gardens of the royal castle of Blois, 
between the Queen-mother of France and Elizabeth's astute 

Digitized by VJ&OglC 

322 Elizabeth 

ambassadors, Walsingfaam and Sir Thomas Smith,^ which we 
abstract from the official report of the latter, as affording a most 
amusing episode in the negotiations for the Alengon alliance. 

Catherine asked, " If the Duke of Norfolk were executed 

" We said, * No ; not that we could learn.' 

" * No r said she, * then belike the queen will pardon him ? * 
We answered, *We could not telL' *I would,' resumed 
Catherine de Medicis, *that she were quiet from all these 
broils. Do you know nothing, now, how she can fency 
marriage with my son the Duke of Alengon ? ' 

"'Madame, you know me of old, except I have a sure 
ground, I dare affirm nothing to your Majesty.' 

"•Why,' rejoined Catherine, * if your queen be disposed to 
marry, I do not see where she can marry better, though I, as a 
mother, may be justly considered partial, but as for those I 
have heard named, the emperor's son (the Archduke Rodolph) 
or Don John of Austria, they both be lesser than my son is, 
and of less stature by a good deal. If she should marry, it 
were pity any more time should be lost.' 

" * Madame,' quoth I, * if it pleased God that she were 
married, and had a child, all these brags, and all these treasons 
would be soon appeased ; and, if her child's &ther were the 
Duke of Alen9on, for my part I cared not if ye had the Queen 
of Scots here, for ye then would be as jealous over her, for the 
queen my mistress' security, as we, or as she herself is.' 

"*That is true,' replied her Majesty, *and without this 
marriage, if she should marry otherwise, I see not how our 
present league and amity will be sure f * 

" * True, madame,' quoth I, * the knot of marriage and 
kindred is a stronger seal than that which is printed in wax ; 
yet all leagues have not marriage joined with them, as this may, 
if it please God.' 

"*I would it were done,' replied Catherine, 'then surely 
would I make a start over to England, and see her myself, 
which I most desire of all things.' 

** ' Madame,' quoth I, Mf I had now as ample a commission 
for M. de Alen9on as I had at the first for monsieur^ (the 
Duke of Anjou), the matter would soon, by God's grace, be aX 
an endl' 

^ The Cmnpkta Ambasspdor, edited by Sir Dudler Dtgges, pk X95, dated March 17, 
157X-3. Letter to Sir Thomas Smith, clerk of Elizabeth's coancu, then tempcnary 

B This passage shews, from the very highest authority, how fully determined Quen 
Elizabeth had been to marry the Duke of Anjou, (afterwards Henry III.) 

Digitized by VjOOglC 

Elizabeth 323 

" ' Wonid you had/ enthusiastically replied the royal mother 
of both the princes ; * and if you have such a one when you 
return to England, would you not come over again to execute 

"*Yes, madame,' quoth I, 'most gladly, for so good a 
purpose would I pass again the sea, if I were never so sick I ' 

" * Surely,' interposed Mr. Walsingham, * it was not religion 
which made that stop in the marriage of monsieur, the Ehike of 
Anjou, but some other thing?' 

"*No, surely;' replied the queen-mother, *my son Anjou 
never shewed me any other cause.' 

** * I assure you, madam,' said Mr. Walsingham, * I can, 
marveUous hardly believe it ; for, at Gallion (?) ^ he was so 
willing and well-affected, that methought k did me much good 
to hear him speak of the queen, my mistress ; I perceived it in 
his words, in his countenance, and in all things ; but, whe« he 
came again to Paris, all was clean changed I ' 

" * It is true,' replied Queen Catheriiie, • and it may be much 
to marvel, but even at Gallion all things he liked well, but the 
religion, at which he made a little stop, yet nothing as he did 
afterwards. Upon this I bare him in hand, for it grieved me 
not a little, (and the king, my son, as you know,) that he 
believed all evil rumours and tales that naughty persons, who 
wished to break the matter, spread abroad of the Queen of 
England, and that made him so backward. I told him,* 
continued Catherine, 'that all the hurt which evil men can do 
to noble and royal women, is to spread abroad lies and dis- 
honourable tales of us ; and that we princes, who be women, 
of all persons are subject to be slandered wrongfully by them 
who be our adversaries — other hurt they cannot do us.* Then 
my son Anjou said and swore to me, that he gave no credit to 
them, for he knew that Queen Elizabeth had so virtuously 
governed her realm, for this long time, that she must needs be 
a good woman and princess, and full of honour, and other 
opinion of her he could not have, but his conscience and his 
religion did so trouble him, that he could not be in quiet' "^ 

Walsingham and Smith* were recreated with another diplo- 
matic walk in the garden of the castle of Blois with the scheming 

1 Probably Galliers, a French country palace. 

S This observation, coining so philosophically and calmly from the lips of a queen, who 
is more loaded with oblcKjuy dian any other woman in the world^ in defence of another 
who bad her share of scanda,! (from one party at least) is a great historical curiosity. 

8 The reader has been let behind the scenes as to Anjou s real reason for his msolent 
refusal of Eltzabetht by his mother's letter already quoted. Catherine de Medicis, who 
was not so cunning as she thought herself, lets out has real reasons-^ via., the scandals on 
Elizabeth, in this remarkable speech to the acute and inimical Walsingham. 

< Letter of Smith to Burleigh, Complete Ambassador, p. 167, dated March aa, X57x>3. 

324 Elizabeth 

Queen-mother of France. Some curious conversation occurred, 
relating to the mutual jealousies felt by England and France, 
at the Ridolfi plot, the gist of which was to steal young James 
of Scotland from his guardians, and deliver him to Philip II. 
in order that marriage might be contracted between him 
and the young infanta. Likewise the project of Alva to free 
Mary Queen of Scots, by an invasion of Flemish troops at 

"Jesus !" exclaimed Catherine de Medids, "and doth not 
your mistress, Queen Elizabeth, see plainly that she will always 
be in such danger till she marry? If she marry into some 
good house, who shall dare attempt aught against her ? " 

" Madame," replied Sir Thomas Smith, " I think if she were 
once married, all in England that had traitorous hearts would 
be discouraged, for one tree alone may soon be cut down ; but 
when there be two or three together, it is longer doing ; for if 
she had a child, then all these bold and troublesome titles of 
the Scottish queen, or of the others, who make such gapings 
for her death, would be clean choked up." 

** I see," observed Catherine, " that your queen might very 
well have five or six children." 

" I would to God we had one ! " devoutly rejoined the 
zealous Smith. 

" No ; " said Catherine, " two boys, lest one should die, and 
three or four daughters to make alliance with us again, and 
with other princes to strengthen the realm." 

" Why, then," replied Ambassador Smith, gaily, " you think 
that monsieur le due shall speed ? " 

Catherine laughed, and said, "y<? le desire infinitement^ and I 
would then myself trust to see three or four, at the least, of her 
race, which would make me spare nor sea nor land to behold 
them myself. And if," continued she, "Queen Elizabeth 
could have fancied my son Anjou as much as you told me, 
why not this (the Duke of Alengon) come of the same house, 
and every way equal to his brother ? " 

Nevertheless, her Majesty expressed her doubts that Alengon 
had stopped growing, and that he would never attain the fine 
stature of Anjou. She, however interrupted a remark of the 
English ambassador, on the height of this candidate for 
Elizabeth's hand, by exclaiming — 

"Nay, he is not so little; he is as high as you, or very 

"For that matter," replied Smith, "I, for my part, make 
small accoimt of height, provided the queen's majesty can 

Digitized by VjOOglC 

Elizabeth 325 

fancy him. Since Pipinus Brevis,^ who married Bertha, the 
King of Almain's (Germany) daughter, was so little to her, 
that he is standing in Aquisgrave ^ or Moguerre, a church in 
Germany, she tEiking him by the hand, that his head reaches 
not her girdle ; and yet he had by her Charlemagne, the great 
Emperor and King of France, reported to be almost a giant 
in stature. And as to your Oliver Glesquim, the Briton 
constable,' that you make so much of, who lieth buried 
among your kings at St. Denis, if he was no bigger than 
there portrayed on his tomb, he must have been very short, 
scarcely four foot long, but yet he was valiant, hardy, and 
courageous, and did us Englishmen most hurt of any one." 

Thus did Ambassador Smith fluently vindicate the worth 
and valour of little men, including among them the redoubtable 
descendant of King Pepin, Elizabeth's small suitor Alengon, 
and, doubtless, himself, since Catherine de Medicis considered 
them nearly the same height 

"It is true," resumed her Majesty, "that it is the heart, 
courage and activity that are to be looked for in a man, rather 
than his height. But, hear you no word of the queen's 
affection in my son's way? can you give me no comfort?" 

Smith assured her he had no fresh intelligence, " for their 
courier had only departed on the nth of the month, and had 
not jret returned." 

In the midst of all these matrimonial speculations, Elizabeth 
kept her Maundy at Greenwich, according to the ancient custom 
practised by Edward the Confessor, and his relatives St. 
Margaret, St. David, and Queen Matilda Atheling the Good. 
This custom required, that the queen herself should wash the 
feet of the poor, in remembrance of our Saviour washing the 
feet of the apostles. Elizabeth will scarcely be blamed in 
modem times, because she performed the office daintily. The 
palace hall was prepared with a long table on each side, with 
benches, carpets, and cushions, and a cross-table at the upper 
end, where the chaplain stood. Thirty-nine poor women, 
being the same number as the years of her Majesty's age, at 
that time, March 19, 1572, entered, and were seated on the 
forms; then the yeoman of the laundry, armed with a fair 
towel, took a silver bason filled with warm water and sweet 
flowers, and washed all their feet, one after the other ; he like- 
wise made a cross a little above the toes, and kissed each foot 
after drying it, the sub-almoner performed the same ceremony, 

1 Pepin, the little King of France, father of Charlemagne. > So written. 

* Probably the valiant Bertrand du Gnesdin, Constable of France. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 



and the queen's almoner aha. Then her Majesty entened the 
hall, and went to a priedieu and cushion, placed iti the space 
between the two tables, and remained during prayers and 
singing, and while the gospel was read, how' Christ washed 
his apostles' feet. Then came in a processiqn of thirty-nine 
of the queen's maids of hanour and gentlewomen, each carrying 
a silver bason with warm water, spring flowers, and sweet h^bs, 
having aprons and towels withal. Then her Majesty, kneeing 
down on the cushion placed for the purpose, proceeded to 
wash, in turn, one of the feet of each of the poor women, and 
wiped them with the assistfuice <^ the fair bason-bearers ; 
moreover, she crossed and kissed them, as the others had done. 
Then, beginning with the first, she gave each a sufficient broad 
cloth for a gown, and a pair of shoes, a wooden i^atter^ wherein 
was half a side of salmon, as much ling, six red herrings, two 
manchetts, and a mazer, or wooden cup, full of daret AU 
these things she gave separately. Then each of her ladies 
delivered to her Majesty the towel and the apron used in the 
ablution, and she gave each of the poor women one apiece. 
This was the condusion of the ladies' official duty of the 
Maundy. The treasurer of the royal chamber, Mr. Heneage^ 
brought her Majesty thirty-nine small white purses,^ each with 
thirty-nine pence, which she gave s^pacately to every poor 
woman. Mr. Heneage then supplied her with thirty-nine red 
purses, eadi containing twenty shillings; this she distributed 
to redeem the gown she wore, which by ancienit custom was 
given to one chosen among the number. After taking h^ 
ease on her cushion of state, and listening awhile to the choir, 
her Majesty withdrew, for it was near smiset 

La Mothe Fenelon soon after announced, that the portrait 
of the Duke of Alen^on had been delivered, by Cavakanti, to 
the Earl of Leicester, who carried it into her Majesty's private 
cabinet, and submitted it to her inspection ; and he afterwards 
told La Mothe, ** that though it was not altogether the same as 
monsieur, her Majesty seemed to think it had somewhat of the 
same air and bearing; that she did not appear to dislike it, 
and had judged that the accident to his face would wear out 
in time; but when she came to read the inscripdcm of his 
age, she said, * It was just the half o[ hers — nineteen years to 
thirty-eight-^^and that she feared being so much his senior.' " ^ 

In consequence of Elizabeth's reluctance to bring the Duke 
of Norfolk to the block, a party was raised by the secret 

1 They were made of wash-leather, with very loae strings. 
" Fenelon's Despatches, voL iv. 

Digitized by VjOOg IC 

Elizabeth 327 

instigation of Burleigh, and his other equally deadly foe, 
Leicester, by whom her Majesty was urged both privately and 
pubUcly, to cause the sentence of deadi to be executed on the 
unfortunate duke. At length, an address from parliament, 
assuruig her that there could be no security for herself and 
realm till this were done, furnished her with a legitimate excuse 
for bringing him to the block, June 2nd, 1572. 

It is impossible, however, to. read Burleigh's frequent lamen- 
tations to Walsingham, on the repugnance of their royal 
mistress to shed her unfortunate kinsman's blood, without 
perceiving the real authors of his death. Well did the pitiless 
men by whom Elizabeth's better feelings were smothered, 
understand the arts of bending her stormy temp^ to their 
determined purposes. 

"As to your letters to ber Majesty," writes Burleigh to Walsingham, 
'^IbiBsmach as the Duke of Norfolk had suffered upon Monday^ and your 
letters came on Tuesday, I thought it not amiss to tell the queen, * that I 
had letters from you to her, which I thought were only to shew her the 
opinion of wise men, and her Majesty's well wishers in France, both for 
the Queen of Scots and the Duke of Norfolk ; ' wbereapon, she bade me 
open the letters, and so I did, in her presence ; and she being somewhat 
sad for the Duke of Norfolk's death, I took occasion to cut off the reading 
thereof, and so entered into speech of the Queen of Scots, which she did 
not mislike ; and commended your care and diligence."^ 

The death of Norfolk was intended by Elizabeth's council 
as a i»:elude to that of a more illustrious victim. The queen 
was told, " that she must lay the axe to the root of the evil^ 
for that she would neither have rest or security while the 
Scottish queen was in existence." Elizabeth, with a burst of 
generous feeling, recoiled from the suggestion. "Can I put 
to death," she exclaimed, " the bird that, to escape the pursuit 
of the hawk, has fled to my feet for protection? Honour and 
conscience forbid I " 

The same parliament which had urged the execution of the 
Duke of Norfolk, passed a bill for inflicting the punishment 
of death on the Queen of Scots, for her share in the recent 
plots, but Elizabeth refused her assent both to that and another 
bill, which would have made it a capital offence for any one to 
assert the rights of that princess to the regal succession. 

The tragedy of Norfolk's execution was followed by a series 
of brilliant fetes, which were ordained in honour of the arrival 
of the Duke de Montmorenci and Monsieur de Foix, who 
came to conclude, in the name of the King of France, the 
solemn treaty of perpetual peace and alliance between that 

1 Complete Ambassador, Digges, 21a. 

Digitized by VjOOg IC 

328 Elizabeth 

prince and Queen Elizabeth, as well as to make an official offer 
to her of the hand of the boy Alengon. 

On the 14th of June, the noble envoys presented their 
credentials to her Majesty, together with private letters from 
the King of France, the queen-mother, and the two princes, 
her late suitor, and her present; all which she received 
graciously, but only read that from the king in their presence. 
The next day being Sunday, they, with the French ambassador, 
Monsieur de la Mothe, were introduced by Lord Burleigh into 
the chapel royal, after the prayers were ended, for the purpose 
of receiving a solemn ratification of the treaty from the queen. 

A profusion of compliments having been exchanged, her 
Majesty expressed her happiness at entering into a treaty of 
perpetual alliance with the King of France ; and called " God 
to witness for her punishment, if in her heart he saw not a 
true intention of bringing forth the fruits of this concord by 
suitable deeds; for words," she said, "were no better than 
leaves." She made also a deceitful profession of her impartial 
dealing with regard to Scotland, in a loud voice. She then 
demanded the parchment digest of the treaty with the royal 
seal and signature of the King of France, which was forthwith 
presented to her with all due ceremony, by the plenipotentiaries 
of his most Christian Majesty, Then she approached the 
altar, and laying her hand on the gospels, which were held by 
one of her bishops, swore solemnly " to observe all the articles 
contained in the treaty." She signed it on a golden desk, 
which was supported by four earls, in the presence of a great 
many French nobles, and the principal lords and ladies of her 
court. ^ 

"On our departure from the chapel," says Monsieur de la 
Mothe, to whose lively pen we are indebted for these details, 
" she took us all three into her privy chamber, and, a little after, 
to her hall of presence, where she would have us dine at her 
own table, and the other French nobles in another great hall, 
with the lords of her court." After dinner, she talked some 
time apart with the Duke de Montmorenci; and then con- 
ducted the matrimonial commissioners into her privy chamber, 
where the more interesting business, with which they were 
charged, was formally opened by the Duke de Montmorenci, 
and confirmed by De Foix, according to the royal etiquette on 
such occasions, after she had read the letters of the royal 
family of France. 

Her Majesty returned her thanks most graciously, " which," 

1 Deptehes de la Mothe Fenelon. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 329 

observes La Mothe Fenelon, "she well knows how to do;" 
touched on the difficulties that had attended the late negotia- 
tion, and were likely to impede the present; and, without 
either accepting or rejecting the new candidate for her hand, 
deferred her answer till such time as she should have given it 
proper consideration. She then did M. de Montmorenci the 
honour of taking him into her own bedchamber, where she 
permitted him to remain for some hours, till his own was 
prepared for him, which was near it, being the same formerly 
occupied by the Earls of Leicester and Sussex.^ 

" Then they came," pursues La Mothe, " and took us to see 
the combats of bears, of bulls, and of a horse and monkey." 
The latter sport appears to have been an amusement confined 
to the court of the maiden queen, who took peculiar delight in 
these pastimes. " Then," continues his Excellency, " we went 
into the pleasure gardens, till the said lady came out, in readi- 
ness for the banquet, which was prepared with the utmost 
grandeur and magnificence, on one of the terraces of the 
palace, in a green arbour, or pavilion, very large and beautiful, 
and well adorned with many compartments, and with two of 
the richest and most splendid beaufets in Europe. 

" She again made M. de Montmorenci, M. de Foix, and me, 
eat at her own table ; and all the rest of the lords, French and 
English, mingled with the ladies of the court, occupied another 
very long table near hers. We were sumptuously entertained, 
and the feast was prolonged till about midnight, when she led 
us to another terrace, which looked into the great court of the 
palace, where we had not been long, when an old man entered 
with two damsels, and implored succour for them in her court ; 
and immediately there appeared twenty knights in the lists — 
ten in white, led by the Earl of Essex, and ten in blue, led by 
the Earl of Rutland — who, in the cause of these damsels, com- 
menced a stout combat on horseback with swords, which lasted 
till the dawn of day, when the queen, by the advice of, the 
umpires of the field, declared, * that the damsels were delivered, 
and gave them all leave to retire to bed.' " ^ 

This royal fite champHre and mask, took place on a mid- 
summer Sabbath night, at the old palace of Westminster, 
on the banks of the Thames. Two days after, the French 
ambassador accompanied the court to Windsor, where her 
Majesty invested Montmorenci with the Order of the Garter. 
La Mothe Fenelon informs the King of France that he and his 

1 Deptehes de la Mothe Fenelon. voL v. pp. i6, 17, 18. 
8 Despatches of La Mothe Fenelon. 

Digitized by ®(^Ogle 

330 Elizabeth 

suite Ravelled at the expense of the queen, and were most 
liberally treated. "And I have seen,*' says he, " in the palaces 
of Windsor, and Hampton Cowt, but especially at the latter, 
more riches, and costly furniture, than I ever did see, <k could 
have imagined." 

At the same time that Francis Duke de Montmorcnci was 
admitted as Knight of the Garter, Walter Devereux, Earl of 
Essex, the Lord Grey of Wilton, Lord Chandos, and Lord 
Burleigh, were elected Companions of the Order ; and at the 
investiture, Queen Elizabeth, as a signal ma^k e^ her favour to 
her prime minister, Burleigh, buckled the Garter about "his 
knee herself; which appears to have been the first time this 
personal favour was conferred by the hands of a female 
sovereign.^ Elizabeth was, however, very proud of her 
distinction as the sovereign of this chivalric order. 

La Mothe Fenelon informs the Queen-mother of France, in 
his letter of the 22nd of June, " that he had urged Burleigh 
and Leicester to entreat their royal mistress to give an early 
answer on the subject of the marriage, and grant a conference 
to himself and Montmorenci, For this cause,** pursues he, 
" she sent for us all three on the morrow, to come to her after 
dinner, in private, without ceremony. We were brought by 
water into her garden, and found her in a gallery, where she 
received us all very graciously." 

Elizabeth, while she avoided saying anything that might in 
the slightest degree commit herself, accused the equally cautious 
procurators of confining themselves to generalities, and said, 
"she desired to enter into particularities, especially on the 
important subject of religion." They assured her that every- 
thing would be arranged to her satisfaction. It is impossible 
not to observe the malign pleasure with which Elizabeth 
recounts the personal defects of the unlucky boy, whom the 
royal intriguante, Catherine de Medicis, had the folly to 
propose as a suitable consort for her. She demands of the 
ambassador, "w^hat compensaition is to be made to her, in the 
marriage articles, for the injury to his face from the small^x ? " 
and disoQsses his royal Highness from top to toe, with no more 
ceremony than is commonly used by persons, who are bargain- 
ing for the purchase of a lap-dog, a monkey, or any other 
animal of small account. But for the strong reasons of political 
expediency, which rendened it necessary for the haughty Eliza- 
beth to keep fair with France, there can be no doubt but she 
would have poured the overflowing measure of her ill-concealed 

1 Hist, of the Orders of Knighthood, by Sir H. Nicolas. j 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 331 

ficom cm both motiier imd son ; as it was, she Berried her own 
pwiposes, by humouring this most absurd of projects, and per- 
mitted the wily Catherine, and her agreeable agent, Monsieur 
de la Mothe Fenelon, to fancy that they were beguiiing her, 
while ^e was in reality fooling them. 

It was, however, no misrtake for them to suppose Hiat their 
flatter^ had some effect on the mind of Elizabeth, for she 
enjoyed it so much, diat it is evident ifce prolonged the 
Tiegotiations for the purpose orhaving the dose more frequently 
repeated; but though it was not difficult for the insinuating 
diplomatist to persuade the vainest of princesses, that she was 
the most beautiful woman in the world, and that the laws of 
nature were so far reversed in her favour, that time had 
improved her charms, instead of injuring them, it was another 
matter to induce her to bestow all these perfections, in addition 
to her more important endowments of grandeur and regal 
power, on a suitor of Alengon's description. Elizabeth certainly 
treated the idea with mockery, at the very time that she was 
feasting and bestowing honours, presents, and counter-flattery 
on the procurators of the marriage. The fetes and entertain- 
ments, with which she graced Montmorenci and De Foix, lasted 
for a whole fortnight The queen gratified them with costly 
and valuable presents of plate and money at their departure. 
Burleigh informs Walsingham, " that the ambassadors did all 
diey could in the matter of the Due d'Alen^on, but got from 
her Majesty neither yea nor nay, but the delay of a month, in 
which she was to make up her mind." He charges Walsing- 
ham, meantime, to learn all he can of the duke, his real age 
Mid stature, and conditions, his inclination to religion, and that 
of his followers ; of all which her Majesty desired to be speedily 
advertised, that she might resolve before the month; "and 
surely,* observes the premier, " I cannot see any lack in this, 
but in opinion for his age ; which defect, if it might be supplied 
with some other recompence, were not worthy to be thought 
of. I wish we might have Calais for their issue, and he to be 
governor thereof during his life, so as we might have security 
for our staple there." ^ 

The next time La Mothe Fenelon had an interview with 
Elizabeth, on the subject of the marriage, she expressed herself 
doubtfully touching the disparity of their age. The ambassador 
assured her, "that his prince's )routh would be a singular 
advantage, as it would enable her and her counsellors to govern 
him at tberr owti discretion, and that she could not, in all 

1 Complete Ambassador, Digsres- ^ t 

Digitized by VjOOg IC 

332 Elizabeth 

Europe, find a gentleman more deserving of the love and 
esteem of a fair and virtuous princess than the duke, and that 
she did herself wrong if she doubted that she was not worthy 
of the love and service of the most accomplished prince in the 
world, and entreated her to be satisfied that no one under 
heaven would be so extremely beloved as she, if she would but 
accept the affection of this prince, and receive him into her 
good graces." Elizabeth replied, " that perhaps it might be so 
for a little while, but in seven or eight years he would begin to 
despise and hate her, which would quickly bring her to the 

Then the ambassador told her, " that he had found a little 
piece of writing among Monsieur de Foix' papers, after his 
departure, which was part of a letter written by the Duke of 
Alen^on himself to that gentleman, on the subject of his 
much-desired marriage with her Majesty, and though, in 
truth, he had no commission to shew it to her Majesty, yet, 
if she would like to see it, he would venture to do so, as it 
would serve materially to dispel the doubts she had in her 
heart." Elizabeth immediately called for seats, and, having 
taken his Excellency into a corner of the apartment, made him 
sit down by her, while she perused the paper, which had, of 
course, been written for this very purpose. "She read and 
re-read it," says La Mothe, "and pronounced it 'marvellously 
well done, and exactly what she hoped to find in him,' adding 
her praise of his beautiful and graceful style of writing, and 
also commended his fair penmanship." 

The next day, Leicester came to inform the ambassador, 
that the sight of that little letter had done more with her 
Majesty, in favour of the marriage, than all that had been said 
by Montmorenci and De Foix, by himself, or Burleigh, and, in 
short, than all the council had been able to do, and very 
obligingly advised La Mothe to get the Duke of Alengon to 
write another good letter, as discreetly expressed, and full of 
affection, that it might be shewn to the queen, and even, if he 
thought proper, one to her Majesty, who would not take it 
amiss. Leicester took the opportunity of hinting, "that if 
the marriage were accomplished through his good offices, he 
should have no objection to a noble and wealthy French 
match himself, and expressed a wish that the queen-mother 
would send him the portrait of Mademoiselle de Montpensier, 
which he knew well was in the house of the Count Palatine." ^ 

One day, Elizabeth told La Mothe, " that one of her embassy 

1 Despatches of La Mothe Fenelon. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 333 

in France had written very favourably of the Duke of Alengon, 
in all respects, and had said, * he would not deceive her about 
the injury his face had received from the small-pox, knowing 
what a delicate eye she had for observing everything about any 
one, but that he would otherwise have been much handsomer 
than his brothers.' " 

On this hint, La Mothe Fenelon launched out into the most 
extravagant encomiums on the prince, declaring ** that in every 
particular, save and except the accident to his face, he was a 
paragon above all the other princes in the world, and that this 
injury was not without remedy, for there was a physician in 
London, who had lately cured a person of the marks of the 
small-pox, who had been more frightfully seamed with it than 
any one in the world, and that if she would only accept the 
service of the duke, he would, in a few days afterwards, be 
rendered beautiful, and worthy of her favour." This was 
certainly treating Elizabeth very much like a child, but it was 
an age of quackery and credulity, and it is very plain that 
Fenelon was himself deceived by the reports of the wonderful 
renovations, effected by this occult practitioner, in complexions 
that had been spoiled by the small-pox. He spoke of this to 
Burleigh, who begged him to name any person within the 
realm, who, to his certain knowledge, had been cured by the 
said physician. 

"I named two," writes La Mothe to the queen-mother, 
" one of whom is of this city of London, and the other is a 
country lady, and a relation of the Countess of Bedford. In 
truth, the said doctor is a person of great learning and much 
experience, and has made no difficulty of it, but said, *that 
the remedy has nothing in it that is noxious, and that it is 
very sure.'" 

After La Mothe had mentioned this to Elizabeth, she 
smiled, and begged him to have the remedy applied by all 
means to the face of the Duke of Alengon.i The Earl of 
Lincoln, on his arrival from Paris, spoke very favourably of 
the young prince, and settled the two great objections, that 
were constantly urged against the marriage, in an ofif-hand 
way, by saying, " that his youth need not be any impediment, 
as he was growing older every day, and as for the scars of the 
small-pox, they were of no consequence, as he would soon 
have a beard to hide them." 

On the 27 th of July, Elizabeth sent the Earl of Sussex, her 
Grand Chamberlain, to tell the French ambassador, " that she 

1 Despatches of La Mothe Fendon. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

334 Elizabeth 

was goingy the next day, to dine at the hoase of the Lord 
Treasurefy and that if he would come, he should be very 
welcome, and requested him to bring any lettem that he had 
received for her, from his own court, with him." After dinner, 
she led him into a little compartment, out of the saloon, where 
she ordered seats to be brought for him and herself, and 
suffered no other person to approach. When she had discussed 
several subjects of political interest with him, he presented to 
her letters which he had received in his last packet addressed 
to her from the King and Queen of France. She opened and 
read them with apparent satisfaction, and particularly noted 
every wcwd of that written to her by the queen-mother, whom 
she commended aa one of the wisest and most virtuous 
P'incesses in the world* She then put her letters into her 
pocket, and began to discuss her ^inall suitor, the Duke of 
Alen9on, and the objections to her marriage with him, observ- 
ing ** that her subjects had hitherto- esteemed her as somewhat 
wise, she having reigned over them in peace and prosperity 
fourteen years ; but if, after she had eschewed matrimony all 
her life, she should, now she was an old woman, take a 
husband, so much too young, and especially with such a 
blemish in his face as that which haxl befallen Monsieur 
d'Alen^on, they would despise her, and deem her very ill- 
advised, even if she could shew them a sufficient counterpoise 
to atone for those great defects ; " viz., his immature age and 
the scars of the small^pox. She added, " that she had, in the 
first insitance, chajrged her council to prepare a reply in her 
name to that effect, the same day the proposal was made to 
her by Monsieur de Montmoirend, aind she prayed his most 
Christian Majesty ta take it in: good part, and to continue to 
regard her as his own sister." ^ 

Tlie ambassador replied, with many compliments on her 
prudence, and all the fine qualities- which had rendered her 
rbgn so prosperoiis,. and assured her, " that she would study 
the good of her subjects,, by accepting such a match as would 
increase her power,, and that the King of France offered her 
the same conditions with Alen9on that had been offered with 
monsieur, only that instead of Henry, she wouid take Francis,, 
who would be contented with a less public exercise of tlie 
rites prescribed by his religicm, than the other, whose coiv- 
science would not permit him to omit anything cgimected 
with it" 

Me then begged periaission to deliver to her Majesty a 

^ DftpSchM da la< Mothe FomIod, voi. v. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 335 

letter whdcii hs: had in charge to present, to her bom the Duke 
of Alen^on.^ She took the: letter^ perused it with much 
sadsfiEK:tion, and said, *' that all he had written corresponded 
with what she had heard in his praise." The ambassador 
requested that she would permit the duke to write to her 
again, to which she made no objection. 

La Mothe Fenelon, at the conclusion of the c(»i&rence, 
noticed, that the complexion doctor had engaged to obliterate 
the disfiguring traces of the small-pox from the face of the 
duke, and received her Majesty's gracious permission to con- 
fer with the lords of the oouncil,^ on the preliminaries of the 
marriage, of which this cure appears to have been the leading 
article. An envoy extraordinary, Monsieur de la Mole, was 
sent from the court of France, to assist in the treaty. He 
arrived in London on the 27th of July, and La Mothe Fenelon 
sent an immediate notice of this event to the queen, who had 
b^un her summer progress to the midland counties, and had 
advanced forty miles on ber way to Warwick. She requested 
the plenipotentiaries of France to meet her at Eastoo, the seaJt 
of the valiant and hospitable Sir George Pomfret. The ex- 
citement of the chase, however, proved more interesting to 
Elizabeth than the discussions for her miion with Monsieur 
d'Alengon, and she kept the pirocurators waiting for her two 
days at EasEton ; for, having started a large sw^l stag on the 
morning previous to that app<»nted for their audience, she 
pursued it all the day, and tOl the middle of the ni^t, and 
was so greatly fatigued in consequence, that she was compelled 
to keep her chamber all the next day.^ After recovering her- 
self a little, she proceeded on her journey, and gave Monsieur 
de la Mole, who was presented in all due form, by Monsieur 
de la Mothe, a gracious reception, and invited them to 
accompany her to Kenilworth. 

On the 12th of August, she made a public entry into 
Warwick, travelling in her coach, attended by the Countess 
of Warwick^ and surrounded by the greatest lords and ladies 
of her court Hier Majesty, on account of the badness of the 
roads from heavy latns, was brought through Cbesterton 
Pastiu-es, and approached the town by Ford Mili Hill, where 
the bailiff, recordjer, and principal burgesses, were drawn up in 
order, on their knees, to receave and welcome her. The queen 
caised her carriage to be thrown open on every side^ that all 
her subjects might behold her, and paused while the recorder 
addressed her, in a very long-winded and remarkably pedantic 

1 Depfiches de la Mothe Fcndon, vvlL v. p. tou- ^ IfaicL vd. k 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 



harangue, ending with a humble request to her Majesty, to 
accept a small present from the town, which he compared to 
the widows' mites, and the drop of water which Alexander 
the Great condescended to accept of a poor soldier by the 
wayside. Then Robert Philippes, the bailiff, rising from his 
knees, and coming to the side of the coach, or chariot, in 
which her Majesty sat, knelt down and offered to her a purse, 
very fairly wrought, and in the purse twenty pounds, all in 
sovereigns, on which she put forth her hand very graciously, 
and received it with a benign and smiling countenance ; and, 
turning to the Earl of Leicester, said, " My lord, this is 
contrary to your promise;" then she made the following 
considerate reply to the bailiff and corporation : ^ — 

" Bailiff, I thank you, one and all, for your good wills, and I 
am very loth to take anything at your hands now, because you, 
at the last time of my being here, presented us, to our great 
liking and contentation, and it is not the manner to be always 
presented with gifts, and I am the more unwilling to take 
anything of you, because I know a mite at your hands is as 
much as a thousand pounds from some, nevertheless, that you 
may not think that I mislike of your good wills, I accept it 
with most hearty thanks to you all, praying God that I may 
perform, as Mr. Recorder saith, such benefit as is hoped ; '' and 
therewithal she offered her hand to the bailiflf to kiss, and when 
he had done so, she returned his mace to him, which he had 
surrendered to her Majesty before the oration, and which she 
had kept in her lap till it was ended. When she had delivered 
the mace, she called Mr. AgHonby, the recorder, to her, and 
offering her hand to him to kiss, she said to him, with a 
smile — 

" Come hither, little recorder, it was told me that you would 
be afraid to look upon me, or to speak boldly, but you were 
not so afraid of me as I was of you, and I now thank you for 
putting me in mind of my duty, and what should be in me." ^ 
And, shewing a most gracious and favourable countenance to 
the spectators, she said again, " I most heartily thank you all, 
my good people," and so was desirous to be going, but Mr. 
Griffin, the preacher, approached her Majesty, kneeled down, 
and offered her a paper, to whom she said, " If it be any matter 
to be answered, we will look upon it, and give you our answer 
at my Lord of Warwick's house." The paper was, however, a 
quaint Latin acrostic, in which her Majesty was compared to 

1 From a MS. called the Black Book of Warwick Corporation, fols. 60-70. 
'i MS. Black Book of the Warwick Corporation. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

Elizabeth 337 

Pallasi Astrea, Penelope, and Debora; a great deal of time and 
trouble having been expended, to compel the first letter and the 
last of every line in the first stanza to form the following 
compliment : — 

** Tu Elisc^eta mro nubisy O mater eris,** 

These verses her Majesty gave to the Countess of Warwick, 
who was in the coach with her. Then the bailiff, recorder, and 
burgesses took to their horses, and, marshalled by the heralds, 
rode two and two before her Majesty, till they brought her to 
the castle gate. The old Corporation Book,^ from which these 
details are abstracted, does not omit to record that the twelve 
principal burgesses were clad, on this occasion, in gowns of 
puke colour, lined with satin and damask. The balliif, in a 
gown of scarlet, rode next her Majesty, and on the right hand 
of the Lord Compton, who was then High Sheriff of the shire, 
and therefore would have carried his rod up into the town, but 
was forbidden by the heralds and gentlemen ushers, as contrary 
to etiquette on that occasion. 

When her Majesty reached the castle gate, they made a 
lane for her to pass through, who, viewing them well, gave 
them thanks, and pronounced them to be " a goodly and 
well-favoured company." She remained at Warwick from 
the Monday till the Wednesday, when she commenced her 
journey to Kenilworth, leaving her household and train at 
Warwick, and proceeded, by the north gate, through Mr, 
Thomas Fisher's grounds, and so by Woodloes, which is the 
fairest way to Kenilworth, where she remained from Wednesday 
morning till Saturday night, as the guest of the Earl of 

La Mothe Fenelon, in his letters to his sovereign, speaks with 
great satisfaction of the princely festivities with which he and 
his friend, La Mole, were entertained by the earl at Kenilworth. 
The day after their arrival, he and De la Mole had a private 
conference, of an hour and a half, with the queen, on the sub- 
ject of the proposal of the Duke of Alengon, in which she 
flattered them with deceitful hopes of consenting to the 
marriage. After dinner, they all pursued the pastime of hunt- 
ing the hart, till night, in one of the parks. 

On Saturday night, very late, Elizabeth returned to Warwick, 
and because she would see what cheer my Lady of Warwick 
made, she entered unexpectedly into Mr, Thomas Fisher's 
house, where, finding them all at supper, she sat down a little 

1 MS. Black Book of Wan^ick. 

Digitized by VjOOg iC 

338 Elizabeth 

while, and, alter Jt sl^lst repast, rose agBU% leaTin^ the rest at 
supper, and went to visit the good man of the hoase; Mr. 
Fisher, who was at that time grievously vexed with the gout, but 
chose to he brought out of his chamber into the gaUery,. to pay 
his duty to her Majesty, and would have made an attempt to 
kneel to her, but she prevented him, and comforted him with 
such gracious words, that, forgetting his pain, he was on horse- 
back to attend her Majesty on the following Monday, on her 
return to Kenilworth. * 

Meantime^ however, she took up her abode in Warwick 
Castle, where it pleased her, on the Sunday, to have the comitry 
pecyle come and dance before her in the court of the castle, 
while she look